820 — Spam butchers 1,4 per cent of corporate workers’ productivity, says Nucleus

Sep 11, 2003 | Conteúdos Em Ingles

According to a recent survey issued by Nucleus Research, the average employee receives 13.3 spam messages per day and spends an average of 6.5 minutes managing it. This amounts to an average corporate productivity loss of 1,4 percent per employee. Nucleus found also that companies spend nearly a quarter of an IT employee’s time managing spam issues. While filtering may be somewhat effective in reducing the impact of spam today, administrators have found a number of challenges with filters that limited their effectiveness.

Nucleus found that some employees had severe spam problems that forced them to take individual action. These employees were receiving so much spam that it impacted their productivity to the extent that they invested in desktop filters and learned to use them to combat their spam problem.

Even with desktop filters adjusted to their personal profiles and preferences, these individuals still spent an average of 12.5 minutes per day – nearly twice the average – screening and managing incoming mail, at a cost of €1,500 per year in lost productivity.

“Although this figure is not interesting in itself, it is a leading indicator of the potential cost of spam as volumes grow. Even for these highly-trained users with sophisticated personalized filtering devices, spam had a dramatic negative impact on productivity. In 2003, the average company will lose one out of every 72 employee’s productivity to spam. For every 690 employees, a full-time IT staff person will be needed just to manage spam,“ says Nucleus.

While filter technology is not perfect, Nucleus found use of such a device reduced the average cost per employee by 26 percent to €600, or 5.0 minutes per day, per employee. Nevertheless, spam software effectiveness is hindered by some key issues:

• Spam sophistication. Spammers use punctuation, spaces, and other methods to avoid the rules filters use to block spam messages and ensure their delivery to users.

• Ineffective technology. Many administrators found too aggressive filters delayed or aborted delivery of business messages, or were ineffective in filtering out spam unless it met specific guidelines.

• Employee adoption. Although many companies had filters in place, employee use of the filters varied and additional employee education efforts were needed.

• Effective policies and management. Although many companies had e-mail policies, they didn’t have a consistent corporate strategy for educating employees about spam – resulting in adhoc employee education instead of widespread understanding.

Nucleus analysts conducted in-depth interviews with 117 employees at 76 different US companies to learn about their experience with spam. Nucleus analysts also conducted interviews with 28 IT administrators responsible for managing e-mail and other corporate applications to understand the impact of spam on IT infrastructure and resources.

Filipe Samora

Em Foco – Empresa