Market Opens as Nearly Half of Workers Without Email

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

market?

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

benefits.”

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