E-mail, the one-time productivity marvel, has turned into an unwieldy menace to many insurance companies. Once heralded as the ultimate purveyor of near real-time collaboration, e-mail's utility and business value is now in question.Despite the best filtering technology, more than 60% of what seeps into corporate in-boxes is spam, Business Week reports. And ePolicy Institute, Columbus, Ohio, reports that 50% of workplace instant messaging (IM) users send and receive risky content including attachments, jokes, gossip, confidential information and pornography.

Whether actively participating in sending and receiving unwanted messages or simply being forced to routinely delete them, unproductive internal e-mails and IM take up 30% of the typical employee's time at work, according to a study by Gartner Group, Stamford, Conn.

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