As ubiquitous as email seems to be in our world today, a new study shows that 45 percent of
corporate workers do not have email access on the job.
But the study also shows that 45 percent figure is going to start dropping next year and
decrease dramatically by 2007, creating a huge market for workplace email. The Radicati
Group, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based market research and consulting firm, says the market has
the potential to be a $6.7 billion business.
”This market is being born from enterprises that have determined that the technology is to
the point that it’s silly for everyone not to have email,” says Marcel Nienhuis, a market
analyst at the Radicati Group, which conducted the study. ”What’s happened is that
companies have excluded these workers from email access and now they’re out of the loop
about what’s happening in the enterprise. They’re getting their corporate information from
notes tacked to a bulletin board.”
And Nienhuis says companies won’t be giving every factory or warehouse worker a desk and a
laptop. Instead, IT managers will be called on to install email kiosks that can serve
anywhere from 10 to 100 workers. During a break or lunchtime or after hours, workers can go
to the kiosk to access inter-office email — information from HR, corporate newsletters and
questions from payroll.
The question that remains is if these companies will enable employees to email with friends
and family outside of the company.
But Nienhuis says many companies may want to inhibit non-work-related email out of fears of
liability and lost productivity, but others will make it available to improve employee
morale and provide an easy perk.
With a down economy and low IT spending, when will this bump come in the workplace email
That, Nienhuis says, is debatable. But he expects it to start picking up in 2004 and then
taking off in 2005. Then, if the economy holds, workplace email spending is expected to ride
through the next several years.
So who doesn’t have email?
Nienhuis says they had a fairly liberal range when gauging the corporate workforce. He said
it’s not just about engineers, CEOs and accountants. The corporate worker list also includes
flight attendants, factory workers, nurses and warehouse workers. People working in the
field were not included in the study.
”The potential market is enormous,” says Nienhuis. ”It would increase employees’
knowledge of corporate information, boost morale and reduce paper costs. There are a lot of