The days of employees working 9 to 5 in a single office location are long gone. Nowadays, workers can operate from nearly anywhere – any site with an Internet connection enables staff members to access the mission-critical assets they need to complete important tasks. However, a new challenge has arisen in this landscape: the need to ensure consistent and reliable collaboration.
Employees working together in the same office space can easily communicate face-to-face. However, individuals working from different ends of the city or opposite corners of the globe can find it a lot harder to collaborate with their peers.
Enter video conferencing. This technology is changing the way employees work with one another. But, like any innovative and new solution, video conferencing systems require a few considerations to ensure their successful adoption.
"Fortune 1000 staff members work from home or another location 50-60 percent of the time."
The state of the modern worker
According to 2016 statistics from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, more employees than ever are working from outside the office. This trend is best observed within Fortune 1000 companies – these staff members work from home or another location 50 to 60 percent of the time overall.
What's more, the push toward a more mobile workforce is catching on: 80 to 90 percent of the overall U.S. workforce said they'd prefer to telework at least part time.
At the same time, the market for video conferencing solutions is increasingly expanding. A December 2015 report from Transparency Market Research predicted that the global video conferencing market is on track to reach more than $7.8 billion by 2023, expanding at an expected compound annual growth rate of around 8.5 percent between 2015 and 2023. This represents a considerable increase over the market's 2014 value of close to $3.7 billion.
The connection here is clear: Video conferencing can help bring a much needed element of collaboration to the mobile workforce environment. However, enterprises can't just deploy a solution and call it a day – decision-makers should take a few extra steps to ensure that employees make the most of this investment.
Poised for success: Best practices
Cisco, a leader in video conferencing solutions, has recommended a few best practices here, including:
- Ensure interoperability: First and foremost, all the pieces and features of the solution must work together seamlessly. After all, what good is picture without sound? In this way, it's critical that the IT team ensure that the voice, video, Web conferencing and other tools included in the system operate as they should.
- Keep future needs in mind: When initially deploying a video conferencing solution, it's important to remember that the platform will likely need to grow in the future.
"[I]f you design an infrastructure that can only handle today's needs, you're setting yourself up for failure tomorrow," Cisco pointed out.
- Consider a range of endpoints: It's also important to remember that employees won't always be utilizing the video conferencing system on their desktop computers. It's essential that the solution be mobile friendly so that remote staff can access it via their smartphones, tablets and any other device they might prefer.
- Build for the future: "Video collaboration isn't going anywhere, and if you design an infrastructure that can only handle today's needs, you're setting yourself up for failure tomorrow," Cisco noted. "Focus on scalability so your solution can grow with your business."
In addition to these best practices, it's critical that the company work with an expert solution provider that can not only offer the necessary technology, but a concrete partnership as well. iT1 Source is a Premier Certified Cisco Partner, and has all the tools your business needs to ensure collaboration across the board.
To find out more, be sure to contact one of our expert consultants today.