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Instant Messaging Tidal Wave to Hit Corporate IT

Corporate instant messaging will take off in the next four years, according to a new study by messaging researchers at The Radicati Group.

The study projects that the number of corporate IM accounts will grow from an estimated 60 million in 2003 to an estimated 350 million in 2007. That growth in accounts will amount to an annual revenue market of $344 million by 2007, according to Radicati Group. The biggest surge in usage is expected in North America.

The emergence of that market will spur a new market sector for tools focused on IM management and enterprise development. However, the Radicati study predicts "that while organizations will be increasingly looking to log, manage and secure corporate IM, they are not willing to pay more than $11.95 on average for it."

Few organizations have standardized on an IM client yet, although most organizations have IM users especially in verticals such as finance, healthcare and government and within Web-based customer service and field service sectors. According to Radicati, 26 percent of companies have standardized on an IM solution, 44 percent of companies use IM but have not standardized on a solution and 30 percent claim not to be using IM at all. On average, companies are using 1.77 different IM products, a Radicati survey used in the report found.

Another result in the survey sector of the report asked corporate IT managers for their biggest concerns about instant messaging. The top concern was security (31 percent), followed by skepticism that IM adds value (27 percent) and worries about a lack of productivity due to personal use (21 percent).

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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