Video Acceptance Continues to Grow, Survey Shows
IP desktops will continue to be significant, but there's also continued interest in room-based systems. And "softer" cost justifications are taking hold.
More than three-quarters of enterprises have or intend to have desktop IP video conferencing, and travel savings are still the leading reason for adopting video--though improving working relationships and productivity are almost as important as adoption drivers.
That's according to a recent survey, conducted by Forrester Research and commissioned by Logitech. The survey also shows that video quality and ease of use are important considerations when choosing a solution, but that these issues rank relatively low as potential barriers to adoption.
As shown in the figure below (which is actually from a separate Forrester survey but was included with the Logitech report), 60% of enterprises already have desktop IP video conferencing in place, more than half of whom intend to expand these deployments. HD room systems are nearing the 50% penetration mark and are expected to pass it:
The figure seems to confirm other research and projections suggesting that the multi-screen "immersive" telepresence market may be waning. While a not-insignificant 29% of the market has already adopted immersive telepresence, growth prospects seem limited, with just 6% more saying they plan to implement it in the future.
When it comes to adoption drivers, travel avoidance continues to be the #1 reason for using video, according to the Forrester-Logitech survey, although this traditional justification seems to be on the verge of being eclipsed by "softer" benefits.
As the figure below shows, overall highest marks still go to travel avoidance as the most important benefit of video conferencing, but an equal number of people gave the highest possible rating to, "Improving working relationships between people at distant locations.
Notice that also catching up to travel avoidance are, "Improving productivity by using video instead of traveling to meetings," and "Increasing participation and engagement in meetings."
When it comes to factors affecting adoption, cost tops the list of most important factors that enterprises consider (but then, cost almost always tops that list, for most things). Close behind, however, is video quality, followed by audio quality and ease-of-use factors:
However, while ease of use is an important consideration, it rates fairly far down on the list of factors that actually represent a barrier to adoption. Cost, on the other hand, continues to be a major issue in this area, as do considerations relating to room-video adoption--specifically lack of space and resources:
This survey suggests that video conferencing is poised for continued growth in the enterprise, and the growing acceptance of "softer" benefits suggests that making the case for investments will become somewhat easier. And though video at the desktop may be the path of least resistance for adoption, other parts of the survey suggest that enterprises are still very interested in room-based video conferencing.
When asked about the value of video in specific locations, 96% of respondents gave the highest ratings to "large meeting rooms and boardrooms," while 70% cited the desktop and just around 50% called out tablets and smartphones.
One final nugget that can be taken different ways: Forrester asked workers which communications method they'd most prefer for interacting with colleagues, both within their own location and at other locations. Here are the results:
As you can see from the title of this chart, Forrester interprets the results as favoring more "traditional" communications methods--phone and email. But when I see video just 5 points behind email and 7 points behind phone, I see the potential for video to at least catch up to, and possibly even overtake these other methods, in the not-too-distant future.