Breakthroughs in technology and the changing face of the global workforce have combined to create the perfect storm for video conferencing in the workplace. Organizations—driven by end user demands from a remote or disparate workforce, an increased need for team collaboration, and a desire for a more personal virtualized experience—are adopting video conferencing solutions at a rapid pace. According to Frost and Sullivan, the global market for video conferencing related devices, infrastructure and cloud services totaled $7.8 billion. According to Frost & Sullivan, that number may nearly double to $13.8 billion by 2023.

NWN Carousel recently polled our constituents to determine their plans for implementing video conferencing solutions or upgrading their existing systems, and asked what types of projects they were undertaking or planned to undertake in 2019-2020. In fact, when asked what their highest IT priority was in 2019, a majority of respondents indicated that upgrading or expanding their existing conferencing systems topped the list. Some of the projects they are undertaking or plan to undertake include:

  • Completing a nationwide rollout of Skype for Business
  • Updating conference rooms to move from older technologies to current standards such as HDMI and USB-C
  • Conference room buildouts for new locations
  • Planning for on-campus learning spaces, including classrooms, meeting rooms, and seminar rooms
  • Simplifying audio/video solutions to be more user-friendly and platform-agnostic
  • Updating end-of-life hardware

When asked what conferencing system their organization currently uses, Microsoft Skype and Cisco’s video conferencing solutions led the pack at 21.3% each. Conferencing solutions from Microsoft Teams (10.7%), Zoom (10.6%), and Google (4.2%) followed. Nearly 32% of respondents indicated they used a hybrid solution or a solution from another vendor. Of the Skype users, 47.4% indicated their future plans include a migration to Microsoft Teams.

Poll: Conferencing a Top IT Priority Going into 2020, Technologists Say

Many respondents indicated that ease of use was an important criteria when evaluating solutions of all sizes, while security was listed as a factor for large organizations when internal security protocols made the bring your own device (BYOD) trend prevalent in video conferencing impossible. In markets like higher education, colleges and universities placed a high priority on the ability to scale solutions to new locations on or across campuses to accommodate both large (lecture halls) and small (huddle rooms) groups.

Organizations are also seeking to better understand how video conferencing is being utilized to determine not only return on investment (ROI) but also how they can better plan workspaces for the future. Analytics capabilities are increasingly being built into video conferencing platforms, and 71.5% of respondents say these analytics are important to the organization’s efforts to drive even more collaboration amongst teams. Analytics can determine not only number of participants in a video conference, but also what type of tools remote participants are using to join (such as webcams), tracking any technical issues within the conferencing sessions, and help companies decide how to more effectively use video conferencing in their meeting rooms.

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The data shows that video conferencing has become a key business tool across industries and company types, and that organizations are investing in making it easier than ever for employees, partners, and customers—as well as students, professors and researchers—to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.