The email argument (2)

Further to my discussion of the email challenge in Monday’s post, I read’s leader, Living with info overload, yesterday with interest.

It says: "the issue is not only how to monitor digital communications … but also how to search and archive the millions of emails we send and documents we create each day," before continuing: "IT managers in financial services companies admit their email and document management systems aren’t capable of dealing with the strain". As the leader suggests, if the highly regulated financial sector can’t cope, what hope is there for other organisations?

As you would probably expect, my argument in respect of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is that we can take some modest steps to reduce email overload by using alternative technologies such as web-hosted collaborative platforms (‘extranets’) with email-type functionality and inbuilt powerful reporting, search and audit tools. For those that still want some kind of archive (for legal, insurance or regulatory compliance purposes, say), the technology vendors can also provide offline storage devices capturing all the communications involving a particular project or a particular company within that project (for example, see BIW Technologies’ archive service).

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3 pings

  1. […] communications are managed within a self-contained and easily auditable secure repository (see also The email argument (2) and The email argument […]

  2. […] The latter could, of course, also include construction collaboration technologies (aka “project extranets”) of the kind employed on a growing number of UK construction schemes (see, for example, my 4 March post Email used to issue 65% of CAD information). Many of these have deliberately avoided use of email (partly for just the reasons Lars outlines – but mainly to ensure that a complete audit trail of all project communications is retained in one central location), perhaps only using email to notify an individual when there is something that demands action rather than copying everybody in ‘for information’. (See my previous posts on The email argument, and here). […]

  3. […] for future reference – and email is not the answer (see my previous views on email here and here, for […]

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