Instant Messaging Faces Obstacles

The use of instant messaging on a corporate level is facing serious obstacles despite high growth forecasts for consumers.

IT managers still see the technology as a chat application although an IDC forecast predicts the total number of messages sent will approach two trillion per day by 2004.

Major growth barriers include fickle end users and staid IT departments. IDC research analyst Robert Mahowald said, as a collaborative medium e-mail is the dominant paradigm. "Looking solely at user migration from e-mail to instant messaging may be missing the point; to work as a business collaboration tool, it will need to comfortably augment e-mail, not replace it," he said.

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