As another year draws to a close, it is timely to start to reflect upon the changes and innovations that have come over the past year. Not just in the work that we do, but in the “workplace” that we do it. Even just a few years ago the integration world we live in was so much different. Think about it. What has happened to the room based conferencing system? 5 years ago million dollar telepresence rooms were all the rage, and now no one is even talking about them. Similarly infrastructure to support video has come down in the range of 10-100x from where it was just a few years ago. Remember when a video bridge cost as much as a house?
But I digress; this is what happens when technology evolves. It changes things, and much of the change is for the better, but as integrators or in our case a support partner for integrators these changes can also have visible effects such as less project work, lower hardware sales and of course a completely new scope and skillset. Whether we like it or not the proliferation of technology is drastically changing our business. One area that I am really starting to see this is with mobile. It’s something that every one of us enjoy the benefits of daily however few of us really consider the implications that it has on audiovisual system design.
Mobile Needs To Be Front And Center To Our Discussions and Our Design
As the shift continues to happen and we continue to perhaps walk around with the phone just a bit too close to our nose, not only must we watch out for walking into walls, but also stop and think for a minute that we need to start putting mobile at the forefront of our business decisions.
Sure we may not be in the business of “Mobile” but everything we do in this industry is about putting businesses in better positions to connect, communicate and collaborate with their employees, customers and stakeholders, essentially through the distribution of information and content real time for audiences to consume. Everything from presenting a PowerPoint to a live videoconference is really just content that we as integrators are helping companies get from one point to another.
Today, that “Another” point is the mobile device. Tablets, Android devices, iPhones and everything else that we use to consume content aren’t second screens anymore. Sure we may call them “2nd” but the data is in and we watch more content on our mobile devices than we do on our televisions, and I would suspect if you considered the amount of time that you spend communicating for business you would say that the majority is spent either talking, emailing, texting or socializing on your device(s). Am I right?
So when we are talking to customers about the technology we are implementing, are we talking about mobile? If not, shouldn’t it be?
Designing With a Mobile Mindset
Trust me, I understand the challenges of digital and technology transformation. I’ve been around this industry a long time and would be lying if I didn’t say there is a certain comfort in what we know. But as we enter 2015, another year and without a more technology evolution, it seems we have reached the time where integrators are going to have to be thinking mobile when they are designing a solution. And when I say thinking mobile, I don’t mean just “Hey, let’s see if we can give them an app that allows them to use it if they have to,” but almost a mobile first mentality where we say “People are going to be working on just about everything from everywhere, so how can we make mobile faster, easier and more transparent in their lives?”
While this change won’t be easy, I have a certain confidence that the integrators that embrace this approach first will see yields that lead to better projects and happier customers and it has nothing to do with the fact that your technology evolved, but rather that your solutions met the real demands of business today where mobile is the most coveted way by which we connect to those that matter most.
What is your businesses mobile strategy? Are you thinking about it in your design?