Sometimes the tech industry is as cut throat as the fashion industry. Email has been a classic silhouette for decades. It’s a fantastic foundational piece that stays in your closet for years and evolves gracefully with other trends. But as businesses evaluate their tech stacks for productivity, it’s got experts asking: Is email still fab?
Email’s hot or not status has been more heavily debated the last year or so. The “not” side argues young mobile users aren’t accessing email and businesses have been adapting archiving chat apps like Hipchat and Slack. It’s becoming painfully clear that email’s biggest shortcoming is it’s amazing breadth of knowledge…trapped in each user’s inbox. Not to mention that searching for files attached to emails bares a striking resemblance to hunting for a missing shoe in your closet.
On the other hand, email has a lot going for it. According the Radicatti Group, there are over 4.35 billion email accounts, and that number is predicted to grow to 5.59 billion by 2019. Beyond the debate, the fact remains that about 72 percent of adults use email on their smartphone weekly and around 122 billion emails are sent daily. So it doesn’t seem like email is going anywhere in a hurry. Furthermore, some businesses may not be ready to give email the boot and switch to an archiving chat only solution.
Knowledge management solutions are an excellent way to compensate for email shortcomings, like a vintage skirt with the right heels.
1. Find Files Fast
Employees love email for easy file transfer, but tracking down those files in an overflowing inbox when you really need them is a huge pain. In fact, you may never find what you’re looking for. Knowledge sharing solutions provide a centralized location to store files. All files are scanned so you can search based on the content. That means no more digging through emails (or even worse folders, which we’re dubbing the Uggs of technology). Some solutions even allow you to share those docs outside of the company.
2. Capturing And Sharing The Collaboration
So much of the value of sharing content via email is the commentary of peers.
Unfortunately, there is no way to capture and share that collaboration within email. However, knowledge sharing solutions allow users to engage with content by liking and commenting just like you would on a Facebook post. Bonus: younger mobile users may not use email with the same frequency as past generations, but they are using social apps so businesses with modern knowledge sharing tools can better engage their millennial employees.
3. Knowledge Transfer
Have you ever been told to dig into a previous employee’s email account to try and collect a previous file or piece of information? How did that go? Knowledge transfer in the face of turnover is a problem every single company encounters. And email is not the only party guilty of hoarding knowledge. Building a culture around the knowledge sharing solution and making it the source of truth is what ensures that knowledge is passed on and easily accessible to anyone who may need it for years to come.
The bottom line is that email remains the first choice for communication among businesses. But for companies looking to modernize their workplace, knowledge sharing solutions are an excellent way to fill in the gaps that email has left behind. As for the fate of email itself? Only time will tell. But whether or not businesses make the shift towards a world without email, making it work (in the words of Tim Gunn) will be much easier with a thoughtful knowledge sharing solution in place.