Instant Messaging (IM) is certainly not a new technology. That said, the application of IM tools to the business environment is a trend that continues to gain momentum because of the benefits yielded to its users and, in turn, to the organizations who are embracing it.
What are these benefits? Improvements in productivity and internal communication have been identified as the main byproducts of instant messaging. The logic is simple. IM allows users to resolve issues and obtain answers in a timelier fashion; more importantly, users have reported a decrease in call and email volume after the deployment of Instant Messaging tools in their workplace. Who doesn’t love less emails?
As with any new business technology, success will be heavily dependent on smooth implementation and high adoption rates. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when getting ready to select and deploy an IM platform.
There are many platforms out there. Make sure to select one that can be used by everyone in the company. By standardizing the tool used throughout the organization, you make sure that everyone can collaborate in a seamless manner avoiding any compatibility issues.
Security is key
Cyber-security is another topic that must be at the top in the priority list. Just like email, confidential information can be shared through instant messaging. Make sure that compliance standards are built-in to the tool that you select.
Instant Messaging is just one piece in the collaboration puzzle. While IM provides several benefits, these can be enhanced to reach new collaboration heights when combined with other features such as screen sharing, video calling, presence management. A robust Unified Communications tool can provide all of those.
New technology brings out new rules full of ‘Dos’ and ‘Do Nots’ when it comes to using it. Make sure that your employees are comfortable and establish a certain etiquette that needs to be followed when using IM.
Yes, it is true that IM helps reduce the quantity of some of the emails being send and received, as well as the number of calls made and answered. But, it is important to understand that Instant Messaging is an extra weapon in an arsenal of communication. It is not a be-all and end-all. There are situations and topics that are best for IM and there are some that are more conducive to email. Don’t throw the good ol’ email out the window just yet!
Instant messaging can be a key addition to any organization looking to enhance its productivity and to create a more seamless communication processes. However, an unsuccessful deployment can derail any potential benefits so it is important to set the stage to ensure a smooth IM implementation.