With a company name that sounds more like a purebred, high-performance sports car than an IT consulting firm, eMazzanti Technologies is all about delivering powerful solutions in the most efficient manner possible. The Hoboken, N.J., firm is located in one of the most densely populated - and competitive - regions in the U.S. It provides IT consulting services for businesses ranging from home offices to multinational corporations throughout the New York metropolitan area and abroad.
Imagine that your business has a make-or-break presentation scheduled today with a prospective client. But after arriving at work this morning, you discovered that key files needed for the meeting are corrupt. The culprit: a virus-infected email message that one of your employees forwarded from the Web last night to everyone in the company.
Assess your risks Few people would doubt that email has revolutionized communications in today’s business world. According to the American Management Association’s 2003 "Email Rules, Policies and Practices" survey, 86 percent of respondents said that email has made them more efficient, while 51 percent said they are much more efficient. Gartner, meanwhile, forecasts that 70 percent of all corporations will use IM this year, and that by 2005 IM will represent 50 percent of all business-to-client communications.
But employee use of such tools can open businesses to some costly liabilities, including workplace lawsuits, sexual harassment claims, trademark and patent infringement suits, internal security breaches, hacker attacks, and lost productivity. As a result, companies are increasingly adopting strict privacy policies — often including monitoring — to govern their employees’ email and IM activity. Consider these additional findings from the American Management Association’s survey:
Three-fourths of all organizations have written policies concerning email, but fewer than half train their employees on them.
More than half of U.S. companies engage in some form of email monitoring of employees and enforce email policies with discipline or other methods.
22 percent of companies have terminated an employee for email infractions.
The average survey respondent spends a quarter of the workday on email.