The CIO Show: Is email dead?

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The fact email is still around despite the array of superior collaboration platforms available for little or even no cost, is testament to its powerful legacy as the first true ‘killer app’.

But if you’ve spent anytime using platforms like Slack, Monday, Ascender and of course the various collaboration options from Australia’s own Atlassian, you’d have to agree that doesn’t seem so ‘killer’ now.

Jennifer Rebeiro, CIO with Melbourne’s City West Water utility, says email’s role has been slightly diminished by the growing number and capability of more collaborative options, but stresses that it will remain a key tool, especially in the public sector where there remains a strong emphasis on collecting and documenting records.

Gavin Tay, Gartner VP analyst and fellow equates email’s stubborn presence in the enterprise with zombies and the undead; you might try to kill it but it just keeps “popping back up again”. He cites the experiences of French IT firm, Atos Origin, and its partially successful – or failed – crusade, depending on how you look at it.

Tay also explains that Microsoft and Google are both advancing AI/automation capabilities that will likely make email a more effective business tool, and certainly less intrusive than it has been in the past, with CIOs presented with new opportunities achieve significant productivity gains.

And Tim Sheedy, principal analyst with Ecosystm in Australia notes that CIOs need to shift the conversation about whether email is more hindrance than help should be widened to consider how to reduce the degree to which staff are “interrupted”. Collaboration tools, while all the rage now, can be just as annoying, especially if they’re triggering emails pining us to open them.

Sheedy continues on from Tay highlighting the growing array of AI tools enabling greater levels of automation which we’ll all likely find perfectly natural in the future.

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