Shapiro, Dmitry. Instant messaging and compliance issues: What you need to know. SearchCIO.com. May 27, 2004.

Osterman Research states that in 2003, 90% of enterprises were using IM to some extent. A survey conducted by Osterman in 2003 revealed that more than 60% of participants cited AOL Instant Messenger as an IM tool workers use; more than 50% cited MSN Messenger. The reason why these public IM tools are used in such overwhelming numbers is simply because it gives users the ability to communicate externally with customers and partners. After all, consumer IM clients are already used by over 100 million users, so this is a logical and efficient means of messaging. The challenge for network managers is how to achieve a unified view of all IM activity on the network, for both corporate IM and public IM usage. The manager needs control over both systems to monitor a variety of compliance issues. Logging and archiving, monitoring, reporting and supervision must meet current and upcoming records retention, privacy and security regulations. The use of IM is growing exponentially faster than the use of e-mail, and IM is predicted to be as common as e-mail within two to three years. Companies need to act now to assess the state of consumer IM use within their organizations and put into place the necessary measures to make sure their IM use does not run afoul the compliance requirements set by Sarbanes-Oxley, financial, healthcare and state regulations.