Companies are appreciating the immediacy of communication via Instant Messaging or IM. While this technology was first thought of as more for personal usesâ€”such as kids chatting with friends, or long-distance lovers chatting and video-conferencingâ€”the business implications have been quick to sink in. Managers could talk to staff in immediacy, whether the latter is in the same building or in another country. Virtual conferences can be held, where more people can join in on the discussion. And IM allows for multiple conversations at the same time, so one can be talking to a client or a colleague, while checking information with another one on a different IM session.
Companies are still looking into the return on investment for establishing IM networks of their own. However, the costs might be considered negligible, since these are usually packaged with corporate email exchange and collaborative software installations. Or if need be, companies can resort to publicly-available IM networks.