Lorraine Kelleher at Spearline argues that due to the growing importance of conferencing technologies, providers must be aware of the following trends.
Video conferencing has become a core facet of the year 2020, enabling organizations to communicate, family and friends to stay connected, and even medical practitioners to assess their patients.
By 2024, research predicts that the video conferencing industry will be worth US$20 billion. The impact of video conferencing and the opportunities it provides have been indisputable during the current pandemic, especially for organizations who rapidly had to migrate from offices to a work-from-home environment.
Without these technologies, such a transformation in the world of work would not have been possible. Intercompany conferencing is also on the rise, as companies utilize technologies to talk to their stakeholders such as suppliers, partners.
87% of employees state that they feel more connected with their colleagues through video conferencing software. Research also suggests that by the end of 2021, 30% of the global workforce will choose to remote work multiple days per week.
Due to the growing importance of conferencing technologies, providers and organizations must be aware of the forthcoming trends.
1. Departure From In-Person Meetings
A move towards remote working will mean in-person meetings will decline significantly. Barrier-free video communications will allow for a departure from traditional meeting spaces and conference rooms.
For organizations, this also means a move away from legacy infrastructure, and for employees, it means that they are enabled to work collaboratively with colleagues on a remote basis. Therefore, work can take place anywhere in the world, provided there is a strong connection.
2. User Experience Will Be More Important Than Ever
Due to the increased usage of conferencing technologies, the user experience provided will become more important than ever. Organizations will shift towards platforms that allow their employees to join meetings effortlessly.
The use of meeting IDs and passwords can be a source of contention for many workers, as even entering such information can lead to the perception of time wastage.
Likewise, platforms that require the user to download specific software or applications onto their device are likely to decline in popularity; it is believed that browser-based video platforms will replace these.
3. Enhanced Features
A reduction in infrastructure will mean time-saving for organizations due to fewer technological issues. However, a key driver in the move away from legacy infrastructure and towards web-based video conferencing is the productivity-enhancing features provided.
These help to increase efficiency and thus drive business growth, provided that they are reliable and intuitive. Video conferencing commonly has capabilities for screen sharing, virtual whiteboards, live transcriptions, and video clipping.
Providers are also taking heed of the growing importance of data protection and security. They are investing heavily in this area and offer innovative ways to secure their users’ communications and data from misuse and fraud.
This includes increased levels of encryption, multi-factor authentication, or even the addition of intrusion-detection systems.
4. AI and Machine Learning for Audio
Organizations and their suppliers have made significant investments to ensure that conferencing rooms and technologies provide the highest audio-visual levels. In the era of virtual conferencing, it is essential that these learnings are applied to the virtual environment.
In particular, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have now been programmed to identify background noise and to filter this out. This means the software itself could take a proactive approach to minimize disruptions, thereby allowing for more productive and smoother conversations.
5. Video Quality Will Increase, but Voice Will Remain First Choice
With more dispersed workforces, it will be imperative that conferencing software is capable of efficiently replicating in-person interactions. The quality of videos is likely to advance significantly, with further testing being conducted on 4K video meetings and Ultra-High-Definition displays.
Critically, however, research has highlighted that in the event of poor audio quality, individuals will opt to turn off their cameras and resort to voice-only conversations. This shows the importance of audio channels and the requirement for strong performance.
The affordability, ease of deployment, and scale have led to an uptake in video conferencing. However, the above trends must be carefully considered by providers to advance growth and ensure relevancy in a rapidly expanding market.