Jan. 30, 1984: Email recognized as important future business technology

"E-Mail expected to precipitate major changes" published in Computerworld Volume 18, Issue 5 on January 30, 1984
“E-Mail expected to precipitate major changes” published in Computerworld Volume 18, Issue 5 on January 30, 1984

Email was adopted rapidly in the 1980s, revolutionizing business communication.

Nearly every working professional today uses email, with some sources estimating that there are upwards of 4 billion email accounts. In 1984, an article in Computerworld magazine discussed the state of “electronic mail” and how the technology was expected to grow in the future. Although the first commercial email clients wouldn’t be released for a few more years, by 1984 the rapid adoption of email indicated that the technology was going to have a huge impact on the business world.

At the time, “18% of all U.S. businesses used some form of computer-based electronic mail” and 20% were “actively planning to implement electronic mail in the near future.” Larger companies showed more adoption of email, since the costs of email could be prohibitive for smaller companies. These numbers came from a report from The Eastern Management Group (EMG). In an interview with Computerworld, the president of EMG shared that nearly all organizations with over 50,000 employees and at least half of businesses with less than 1,000 employees were planning to adopt email. The year prior, email technologies generated an aggregate revenue of $1.5 billion, with this total expected to double by 1987. 

Today, email remains a multi-billion dollar technology, although many businesses have also adopted other forms of team communications centering on instant messaging and video calls.

–By Kathleen Esfahany