E-mail is dominating the enterprise to the detriment of staff productivity with Gartner analysts yesterday warning that this critical business application has too much influence in the workplace.
Gartner VP Jeff Mann said employees have become e-mail farmers weeding out their patch and believing they are being productive.
He said e-mail is still the primary form of collaboration but it just isn't enough.
"A kid in an Internet cafe is using collaboration tools more effectively than the software your company has spent millions on installing and supporting,"Mann said.
"That kid does it more cheaply and can pay for it by babysitting. They use that online environment every day without thinking.
"These kids live in a virtual universe. Welcome to Generation V."
Mann said it is proof that these same Web 2.0 technologies can be used in the enterprise to creat reports, collaborate on projects, and improve efficiency.
He said there is no point in restricting access to social networking sites if the goal is to create an innovative organization.
Gartner research director, Brian Prentice, freely admitted that he wasted too much time deleting e-mail.
"In today's workplace we believe the more e-mail we delete the more effective we are; but it is totally futile,"Prentice said.
"An empty inbox is like a fleeting nirvana for me.
"Imagine if you answered every e-mail with care, sensitivity and depth; you would go completely nuts."
By deleting e-mail Prentice warned opportunities may be lost.
"We don't get too much information, we get too much bad information,"he said.
"Which one of those 50 invites do I need to accept? We need to delete smartly. We want the right information all the time."