Needless to say Email is an indispensable tool for business.
The reason why, is that I can find no advantages, only disadvantages.
Of course, email has some advantages such as quick information communication, easy information sharing with multiple people, the ability of file transfer*, etc..
* Recently, it became possible to attach large files.
However, because all these advantages can be achieved with Enterprise Social Networking which has been penetrated in these few years, the rest are only disadvantages.
I will explain how to take advantage of Enterprise Social Networking and Workflow later, but you need to know the disadvantages of internal email, just to understand how good this collaborative feature is.
The disadvantages of internal email are the following three:
- Sending an email to the wrong external addressee.
- Important external mails are buried in.
- Internal e-mail doesn’t really mean sharing information.
Let’s look at these one by one.
== 1. Sending an email to the wrong external addressee ==
There is the risk of sending emails to the wrong destination. We cannot eliminate this risk as long as it is manually operated.
It is horrible just to imagine that you accidentally send an external email originally meant for internal information, but we will not be able to eliminate this possibility (except in the case that you have incorporated some sort of mechanism to prevent it).
Considering this risk, you should better use emails to only transmit information outside the company in order to avoid it.
== 2. Important external mails are be buried in ==
Have you ever experienced that you overlooked important external mail because it got lost among too many internal mail?
I used to get about a hundred of emails every day.
Various emails came to me, such as emails about a project I was involved or not, emails in which my address had been included in CC for no good reason, emails of work requests, and emails responding about something I had requested.
As a result, my inbox had been filled with internal mails most of the time, but there are a few external emails from clients somewhere.
Even though I wouldn’t say these internal emails don’t matter, it would turn out that the external emails which were much more important than internal e-mails, be buried in the piles of internal emails.
Although I cannot say “There is nothing I can do to help it!”, it could happen sometimes.
== 3. Internal e-mail doesn’t really mean sharing information ==
The disadvantages cannot go unnoticed. But the words, “We are running our business properly with Excel and emails”, are often heard.
Emails with the word ‘Share’ on its subject or at the top of the body intending to share some information may rain on you. There are also times when you receive lots of forwarded emails from an operation you are taking over.
However, are these actions really helping to share information?
Email will be stored in a mailbox of each individual. Then, only the owner will be able to access his or her mailboxes.
Data that (is supposed to be) shared will be stored in each individual’s mailbox. Would you say this is “Shared”, even when only the owner of the mailbox can access this information? Would you call this “Shared” just forwarding emails which should have been shared when a new employee comes in?
I would call to “Share information” when anyone with the -appropriate authorization- can access the information freely.
In fact, sharing by email is not actual information sharing.
I recommend you to use emails
- to send information outside of the company when it is relevant
- not to contact someone in-house, and not to (semi-) share information
Above, I have talked about the negative side of internal emails, now, the question of “well, what should I do?” arises.
As I mentioned a little bit in the first half of this article, you should quit internal emails and substitute it with Enterprise Social Networking and Workflow system.
As I belong to Questetra, I would say ‘Use Questetra BPM Suite!’, of course, but I will talk about the details in the next article.
That’s it for now!
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