Archive

Archive for the ‘video conferencing’ Category

Consumerization – Video Conferencing

iPhone Call Options

Many of the technology conferences I’ve attended in the last couple of years has referenced the term “consumerization”.  Essentially this term references a phenomenon or trend where products and services  tailored for the consumer market are being leveraged by businesses or enterprises.    Examples of “consumerization” include the use of smartphones by employees to conduct business or the use of file services like dropbox to share business documents.  For some, this trend is troubling as they reference the lack of sensitivity to governance and security associated with business, which isn’t as applicable within the consumer space.  While I recognize the tension of governance and control, I do believe that in the last ten to fifteen years we have seen a dramatic shift associated with innovation.  It used to be that business markets was where innovation occurred and these innovations would trickle into the consumer markets.  Today, it would appear that this trend has been flipped, and as such we now see business professionals bring innovations that first appeared in the consumer spaces into the enterprise.

One example of this would be in the area of video conferencing.  Back in the late 1990’s video conferencing was regulated to the domains of large businesses that could afford to outfit rooms with high dollar camera equipment and expensive data circuits that crossed the country.  Today video conferencing can be achieved with consumer services like Skype and Google Hangouts.  Even Apple’s OSX and  iOS devices can accomplish video conferencing with its FaceTime app.  These innovations in the consumer market related to video conferencing, has placed some interesting tension on enterprises.  I’m confident many Chief Information Officers and Information Technology Directors are being questioned why their employees can FaceTime an individual in the next room or across the country, but the business doesn’t have a convenient way to deploy similar technology as an IT service.

To quantify this trend, in October 2010 a report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project indicated that 19% of Americans had tried “video calling” either online or from their cell phone.  In July 2011, an infographic published on Skype’s Big Blog indicated that video calls accounted for 300 million minutes each day or 42% of all Skype minutes a day.    Finally an analyst with IDC projected that by 2015, 46% of U.S. households would be using video calling services.  The pressure these consumer trends have on the enterprise market is well articulated by a blog post on the PGIblog that indicates in 2013 “75% of enterprises are predicted to use video conferencing”.  For this to come true, many enterprises will need to wrestle with the goals they are looking to achieve with video conferencing.

Advertisements