This paper argues that infrastructure technologies are critical for a corporation’s viability. We show that corporate perception of a technology as purely ‘infrastructural’ represents a major stepping stone on the path towards an advantageous utilisation of this technology. Using electronic messaging systems as an example, we explain why a successful strategic deployment can be severely hampered by the perception of a system as being part of a corporate IT infrastructure rather than a strategic application. We argue that this distinction needs to be overcome. The findings presented are largely based on a number of interviews with large corporate users of electronic messaging systems.