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Email critical to business shocker

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Reg Reader Studies Thanks very much to those 1,826 Reg readers who took the time to complete our recent survey on email, or more precisely, "Email Criticality, Support and Migration".

The findings demonstrate how central email has become to modern business. For example, two thirds of respondents - including 1,102 SMBs - said that email was critical to the sales process. Likewise, 90 per cent of respondents reckoned email important or critical in the customer services arena.

Accordingly, if a company's email crashes and burns, this will impact on operations almost immediately. Over a quarter of respondents said the sales side of their business would be significantly impacted within an hour if email went down, whilst a day's downtime would have a significant negative impact on over three quarters of organisations.

Management, meanwhile, is keeping an increasingly close eye on IT departments' performance using email service delivery as a yardstick. This has been facilitated by increasing use of the BlackBerry and other smart handhelds amongst managers and executives which has heightened their awareness and sensitivity to email downtime.

The soution, naturally, is to try and ensure that there are no email outages. Given the criticality of email and the pressure on IT to respond quickly when email problems occur, it obviously makes sense for organisations to think about prevention of problems rather than focusing purely on curing them after they occur. Three quarters of respondents recognised that good patch management is important in helping to achieve this and larger organisations in particular regard support and maintenance contracts as being important.

That's the semi-skimmed summary. The full-fat report is available right here (PDF).

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