It’s about the boss of ATOS who’s suggested, or ordained that his company will phase out internal email in a few years. I’m enjoying reading the usual commentary either for or against this. This article I suppose would be ‘for’ it broadly – but also, doesn’t it show us that Google Wave was actually a good idea?!
Firstly – why its a good thing. Don’t kid yourself about your email writing habits if you work in any kind of ‘thinking’ industry – as I do, in IT consultancy. How many emails do you read then delete? How many emails do you write to make sure people know what’s going on, or to absolve blame? How much blame-storming, gossip, meets-for-lunch, ideas-sharing goes on?
More email writing goes on than ever there would have been letters written. A short note for this, an FYI for that. Nonsense. Most of this kind of stuff could be gotten rid of. What scares us is that it leaves a hole in our lives – well how would I let my colleagues know about something – where would they go to get information? I guess that information flow won’t stop whatever you do to email, but an ‘analogue’ list (inbox) of stuff, ordered by date or sender, with no intelligence applied to it? It feels like the 1970’s technology it is, doesn’t it?
Employees should begin a collaboration with their colleagues on matters of importance, bringing in key documents, key graphs, photos audio, scribbles – you name it. Being able to see this holistically, within a timeline would be handy wouldn’t it? (sounds familiar though, right?)
As for your ‘destination’ (AKA the old inbox) – what I want is a site which takes all this ‘collaboration’, takes the social media, the web site updates, even good old RSS, as well as my instant messaging and twitter, and brings it together in a prioritised whole – in a kind of urgent, high priority, high priority non urgent, low priority urgent then non-urgent. I may have got myself in a twist there, but you get the idea.
So – Google Wave WAS right after all – can we have it back please? ATOS will buy it no doubt. As for email – if you’re a CIO, be a bit ballsy and bin it now. switch it off, see what happens!