301-571-5040    Get SUPPORT

Washington Works Blog

Instant Messaging Is a Valuable Tool for Businesses

Instant Messaging Is a Valuable Tool for Businesses

Once thought to just be a cool feature of the Internet--or the entirety of the Internet to your Great Aunt Maddie--instant messaging has a long history on the web. In fact, one could argue that it was the first great Internet-based application. Today, we take a look back at the history of Instant Messaging and how your organization can use it to create a better business.

History of Instant Messaging
In 1988, the development of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) allowed users to connect to networks with third-party software to chat in real-time. This was effectively the first chat program, and is still used today. As the Internet started to get more prevalent, chat rooms were one of the first novelty applications available to users. Being able to communicate with other people on your computer was a complete revelation for users, and it didn’t take long for innovations to make their mark.

In 1996, an Israeli company called Mirabilis launched ICQ. ICQ allowed users to have one-on-one chats, send files, and search for other users online. It quickly became successful and the following year, probably the most successful chat program of the early Internet was developed, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). AIM added the “buddy list” feature, which was a shortcut to open a chat with other users and a way to see if a person was online or not.

AIM was followed by Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger and for the first part of the 2000s the four competed for the IM market share. As social networks began to innovate and provide their users the ability to interact in real-time, the value of the chat program for personal use was left wanting. While there are still many chat programs, most of them allow users to send SMS messages (text messages) and other files. As of this writing, ICQ is the only one of the first four that still continues to function.

Messaging for Business
As the 2010s began, and mobility was growing very rapidly, mobile-based messaging applications began to completely replace the old IM services. Not only did the new chat services provide more options, but they were attached to popular web-based software. Business use of IM was more of a reaction than a planned implementation. People message other people constantly. For a while, business owners tried to limit this behavior at work, but with the workforce getting younger, it became evident that instant messaging was here to stay.

Today, the instant messaging application is a major part of most business’ communications strategies. This is because it is cost-effective, convenient, and scalable for almost any device. In some cases it has completely replaced email as the most important communications tool a company has. In other cases it is a nice supplementary collaboratory application that can move projects and tasks along faster. In fact, there have been some innovations in instant messaging technology that are designed for project management.

Collaboration apps, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are taking instant messaging and adding powerful business-line integrations to help users collaborate more effectively. In each chat, users have the ability to bring in information from outside applications, including project management, customer relationship management, and productivity features that help them build more lucrative conversations. In doing so, these applications are being used by many organizations that have workers that work in different places. Since they are cloud-hosted, team members can access the chat, and the integrated information from more places, improving the speed and effectiveness of the project or task in progress.

For all of the benefits new instant messaging can bring to a business, there are some pretty important detriments to note. One is that it is easy to interrupt people with information that isn’t crucial to the workers’ tasks that can be distracting. This constant distraction, once a major consideration for keeping instant messaging tools out of a business’ cache of applications, is often looked upon as a part of the cost of doing business, with ROI figures providing impetus for continued use of these applications.

Further detriments come in industries that have to meet regulatory compliance. For example, businesses that need to meet the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have to have a solution in place to properly log and archive instant messages in order for them to be put in reports as needed. This presents complications and additional expense for a business.

Instant messaging can be a great addition to any business’ communications strategy. For more information about instant messaging and the role it can take in your business, call Washington Works at 301-571-5040 today.

Powerful Conferencing Solutions Can Move Your Busi...
Cloud-Based Security Is Concerning for Small Busin...


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, January 21 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Security Tip of the Week Technology Best Practices Business Computing Cloud Privacy Malware Hackers Productivity Business Network Security Email Software Tech Term Hosted Solutions Internet Data Backup Mobile Devices Computer Data Backup Managed IT Services Ransomware Google User Tips IT Support Data Recovery Microsoft Productivity Innovation Efficiency Hardware Cloud Computing Outsourced IT Smartphone Managed Service Provider Small Business IT Services Paperless Office Android Business Continuity Social Media Workplace Tips Encryption Business Management Windows 10 Browser Remote Monitoring Collaboration Office 365 Smartphones Managed IT Services Windows 10 Data Management Communication Save Money Employer-Employee Relationship Holiday Server Disaster Recovery Bandwidth Government Cybersecurity App Internet of Things BYOD Infrastructure Tip of the week Work/Life Balance Antivirus Facebook Scam Unified Threat Management Phishing Vulnerability Healthcare IT Management Communications VoIP Wi-Fi Passwords BDR Artificial Intelligence Office Password Compliance Customer Relationship Management Big Data Blockchain Managed Service Money Chromebook Politics Information Saving Money Virtual Reality Upgrade Risk Management File Sharing How To Document Management Maintenance Two-factor Authentication Quick Tips SaaS Word Windows Applications Network Mobile Device Apps Hosted Solution Chrome Point of Sale Remote Monitoring and Management Robot Hacker Employees Microsoft Office Router Telephone Systems Recovery G Suite Remote Workers Social Remote Computing Company Culture Firewall Gmail Website Patch Management Private Cloud Computer Care Taxes Regulations Vendor Management Downtime Storage IoT Automation Data loss Training Wireless Websites Mobile Device Management Alert How To Meetings Access Control HIPAA VPN Health Botnet Data Security Server Management Samsung Business Technology Mobile Security Physical Security Twitter Virtual Private Network Automobile Electronic Medical Records Computing Machine Learning Smart Technology Tech Support Bring Your Own Device Identity Theft Legal Cabling Downloads IT Technicians Test The Internet of Things Digital Mail Merge WiFi Smart Tech Mobile Read Only Unified Threat Management Staff Wires WannaCry Shortcut Relocation Cleaning Distributed Denial of Service Service Level Agreement E-Commerce Gadgets Budget VoIP Techology Travel Vulnerabilities Conferencing Hard Disk Drive Bluetooth Comparison Notifications Firefox Superfish Supercomputer Language Internet Exlporer Printing Sports Multi-Factor Security Mirgation WPA3 RMM IT Solutions Spyware Address GPS Connectivity User Error Zero-Day Threat Virtualization Monitors Managed IT Service Modem Utility Computing Features Users Computer Repair Avoiding Downtime Motion Sickness Geography Instant Messaging Specifications Customer Service IT Budget Computing Infrastructure Value Remote Worker Search Disaster Heating/Cooling Web Server Google Calendar Fleet Tracking Operating System Upgrades Processors Office Tips Tracking Permissions Managing Stress Help Desk Printer Wearable Technology Backup and Disaster Recovery Error Break Fix Cookies Electronic Health Records Time Management ROI High-Speed Internet Finance IT Consultant Black Friday Social Networking Professional Services Monitoring Spam Networking Digital Payment Alerts Bookmarks Uninterrupted Power Supply Servers Cameras Legislation Chatbots Asset Tracking Tech Terms Fraud Star Wars Financial Enterprise Content Management Network Management MSP Human Error Cortana Black Market YouTube Staffing Dark Web Nanotechnology Management Cyberattacks Development Authentication Emoji Managed IT Cyber Monday Motherboard USB Consulting Crowdsourcing Cybercrime Licensing Unified Communications Favorites Law Enforcement CCTV Mouse Identity OneNote Theft Analytics Administrator Cost Management Procurement IT Support Touchscreen Webcam SharePoint Proactive Permission Augmented Reality Settings Microsoft Excel Screen Reader Enterprise Resource Planning Files Cooperation Cables Authorization Corporate Profile Outlook Education Dongle Managed Services Provider Personal Information Google Drive Project Management Update Solid State Drive Statistics Gadget Tablet Employee-Employer Relationship IBM Lenovo Hotspot Assessment Security Cameras Marketing Fun Competition Printers IP Address Miscellaneous Hard Drives Mobile Office CrashOverride Regulation Domains Emergency Public Speaking Notes Presentation Lithium-ion battery Wireless Technology 5G Hiring/Firing Safety