Mobility and BYOD Have Been Very Good for Email
A user survey shows that BYOD is driving bigger volumes of email traffic than ever.
Not only is email not dying, it's bigger than ever--thanks to mobility and BYOD.
Almost half the respondents (49%) said that smart devices had "greatly increased" the amount of email in their enterprises. Another 38% saw email "somewhat increased" from smart devices. Six percent saw no change, and only 5% said email had "somewhat decreased."
Similarly, while the top email management concern of the last 3 to 5 years had been User Mailbox Management, the top concern this year was Mobile Device Management, according to the survey.
Michael Finneran has written frequently about how email is the one enterprise application that has really taken off for mobile, but this survey puts a different spin on it: Not only has email been good for mobile, but mobile has been good for email.
Note that the survey didn't say email had shifted from desktop-based networks to mobile; it said that, in absolute terms, smart devices had "greatly increased" the amount of email. This is in keeping with a theme that seems to be emerging in enterprise communications, namely the importance of asynchronous communications. This survey suggests that mobility drives not just anywhere/anytime real-time communications, but also the overall volume of communications, and specifically, text-based asynchronous communications, aka email.
The implications for enterprise communications decision-makers are, first and most obviously, email ain't going anywhere. Secondly, it's worth noting that SolarWinds also found that almost 60% of respondents believe that they'll have transitioned to a hosted email platform within 5 years. And indeed, that transition seems under way: While Exchange still vastly outpaced all other platforms, the second-most popular was...Office 365, outpacing Notes. And Google was essentially tied with Notes; you'd have to expect the next version of this survey will show it passing IBM.
So if this is what we wind up meaning when we talk about "hybrid cloud" deployments for communications, that seems like a no-brainer: Email in the cloud, where you'd expect to run more mature, non-real-time apps to be supported appropriately.
The bigger picture that I see here is that users want to blend synchronous and asynchronous communications as seamlessly as possible. They're taking their jobs with them when they go mobile--they're not taking specific communications functionalities, or at least that's not how they look at it. In your job, you email and talk and text and chat and maybe you video, in no particular order.