Instant Messaging Overview Page 4
Managers must develop rules for IM use. Like the early days of e-mail, this technology creates a democratic system of information exchange that lacks a definition of proper usage. Unlike with e-mail, IM users know that the recipient's workstation is working. When a user receives an instant message, it creates a false urgency that many find impossible to ignore. Still, the message represents an interruption for the recipient, and it may be counterproductive to respond immediately. Managers should establish rules to avoid being swamped by unwanted connections.
Ultimately, IM systems will become the cornerstone of more extensive collaborative applications. These multifunctional software packages will combine instant messaging with real-time multimedia exchange and tools to support virtual meetings. Until these packages mature, however, IS managers will need to support and control IM applications, regardless of how they were introduced to the corporate computing environment.