I don’t know the answer to the question I pose but let me wrap some flesh around my thoughts.Â Today more and more workers are location independent.Â More and more organisations are moving to consumer led purchases of IT equipment and software.Â Many organisations turn a blind eye to public IM clients on their networks.Â Many employees turn to IM aggregators such as Trillian, Gaim or Meebo to enhance their IM experience.Â Now the major vendors are implementing gateways, some free and some at extra licence cost, to public IM networks.Â Some questions:
Will that gateway action be enough to ensure those enterprise IM systems survive?
Do I as an enterprise need an IM system?
If I as an enterprise allow free aggregated clients, use monitoring software at my boundary for any compliance issues do I need to have an enterprise IM system?
Does the cost of the enterprise IM environment justify the presence awareness I get in my email client?
Does the fact that clear text over the internet can be read make my corporate IM system a necessity on security or compliance grounds?
I think the answer in the short to medium term (say 5 years) is yes they do have a future.Â Pervasive presence awareness in applications, secure federation to business partnersÂ andÂ extended use ofÂ bots will be the keyÂ to success.Â Longer term when standards prevail for presence awareness rather than proprietary coding and better federation exists between vendors then we could see more use of hosted IM services.Â Â Exciting times ahead.
Apologies to those who read this twice, I posted a draft in error.Â