Will digital collaboration tools take over business email ?
Even though email remains the primary and foundational communication tool in the business world, tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack have diminished its importance in some circumstances.
Here is why and how email will play a larger role in business communications in the near future.
Where email falls short, collaboration platforms excel
In the 1970s, email was invented, and it exploded once the internet became accessible in the mid-1990s. The underlying framework and use of digital messaging has remained largely the same even though email went from a purely text-based communications medium to one that supports written text, images, and video. As a result, several aspects of email continue to plague businesses and users, including:
- Complex and difficult-to-manage group and team email threads;
- Malware and phishing risks are rampant;
- Instant messaging is not available for one-on-one communication or group collaboration in real-time;
- Collaboration tools and services are not well integrated with email platforms.
It is not surprising that collaboration providers have exploited these shortcomings to offer tools that have become extremely popular as of late. Some of these collaboration platforms include:
- Communication threads that can be organized easily by one-on-one, team, and group;
- Communication in real time using IM, team chat, voice, video, presence, and file sharing;
- Platforms that are built with security in mind
The ubiquitous nature of email is its ace in the hole, but for how long?
With literally dozens of popular IM and collaboration platforms, it’s highly unlikely that everyone with whom a business needs to communicate and collaborate uses the same platform vendor
Microsoft, Slack, Cisco, Google, and Zoom are collaborating to develop cross-platform compatibility, allowing users to communicate while using different products. Even though this type of integration is still in its infancy and will encounter some roadblocks along the way, it’s likely that users of the most popular collaboration tools will soon be able to communicate, no matter what platform they are using.
Is business email going away anytime soon?
In spite of this, it’s unlikely a business of any size will completely abandon email in favor of modern collaboration tools. Nevertheless, email’s role in business communications will change.