Beware the Instant Messaging Bogeymen

I couldn’t help but react to this post in excited utterances about the risks of instant messaging (IM) for the legal industry. I commented that:

“Oh dear, I had thought the days of the IM bogeymen were just a distant memory. The instant messaging phenomenon might be new to the legal industry but else where it has already taken off and in fact the compliance tools already exist. While Whitfield and Thompson focus on the risks of chat they fail to mention the benefits of “presence” provided by IM and how IM bots can provide alternative interfaces into other databases and systems. By the way, the key lesson from other industries is that if legal firms ignore IM and fail to implement corporate solutions, users will find their own.”

Maybe I was bit tough, but IM is often misrepresented. True, it isn’t appropriate in all circumstances (just like any kind of information technology) but to evaluate IM you need to look at range of benefits it provides including chat, presence and integration with other systems within the broader context of the organisation where it is being used. There I’ve said it and now I feel much better 🙂

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