Things have changed —especially in the workplace. After a long stint of remote work, return-to-office is now in full swing. However, what employees are returning to, and their expectations of the workplace have evolved. For many organizations, hybrid work is the new norm, which means more flexibility and more video.
Hybrid work means more video and greater strain on the network. It just takes only one remote attendee to turn every meeting into a video meeting.
Even with fewer people in the office, video usage will increase substantially causing greater strain on the corporate network. To ensure productivity is never slowed down by bandwidth constraints, a robust eCDN is essential to business operations.
Based on Wainhouse’s Enterprise Video End-User Survey, almost 70% of respondents say they participate in video meetings more so than pre-Covid. Along with increasing viewership times, it is crucial for companies and their IT department to reassess their technology and network requirements. To reshape your company’s technology roadmap for this new era of hybrid work, here are six considerations for a post-pandemic video investment:
1. Network Concerns are Palpable as “Return to Office” Becomes More of a Reality
As we are well into 2022, many large enterprises are finally rolling out their return-to-office plans. With this rapid move back to a physical office, network capacity issues are top of mind for many organizations.
Wainhouse’s survey shows that almost 80% of respondents agree that organizations need to add network capacity in 2022 to address the likely increase in video demand in the office. Even if companies have been executing video at scale in the past, they will need to take steps to prepare for this drastic increase in video activity.
2. Have IT Teams Built the Staffing Resources to Address Video Needs?
When asked in 2020 what issue acts as a barrier to implementing/ increasing the use of video on the corporate network, what was once ranked last suddenly became barrier #1 in 2021. Wainhouse survey respondents ranked IT teams lacking the resources to implement or support video solutions as the top barrier.
The concern for the overall cost of implementation is still high up on the list, but executives are even more concerned about staffing resources. Therefore, it will be important for leaders to ensure there are suitable people in-house to manage and support video needs.
3. As Video Scales, Security Matters Even More.
For any IT Team, security is always job #1. So as video scales, the issue of security will become greater due to the influx of online video usage. In other words, the more video is used, the more you will be aware of security risks and the necessity to address them.
It may seem as though the easy answer would be to refrain from using video or resist video adoption. However, with the inevitable rise of enterprise video, it would be more productive to thoroughly assess and implement solutions that tackle your security concerns.
4. After Getting Security Right, Attention Shifts to Networking Issues.
Security for many organizations can be the most complex barrier to overcome, but it should not hinder video and the sharing of data. Wainhouse’s survey shows that although security is the most important factor influencing streaming purchase decisions, the subsequent 3 top factors all relate to networking.
At the end of the day, a streaming solution cannot make an impact if no one can actually view video. Networking capabilities are necessary to facilitate the shuttling of content from point A to point B. Hence, in evaluating an effective solution, IT teams must select technology that can support the network demands of remote workers returning to the office. Taking into account that many remote workers will have high expectations for video experience, as they have relied heavily on video throughout the pandemic.
5. Need Infrastructure to Support Multiple Video Solutions.
Especially in larger organizations, it may not make sense to limit end users to a single video platform— not all employees or teams work in the same way. Also, not all video solutions are created equally, and they may be tailored for different use cases.
Creating a flexible infrastructure that can work with multiple video solutions will be key. It does not matter what platform the bits of video data are coming from as long as the network infrastructure is able to effectively shuttle those bits of data out to people who need to view them. If all video data can flow into a single piece of network infrastructure, you will be well-positioned to address any network issues that arise.
6. Match Video Resources to Video Needs.
Video usage may vary from department to department. It will be a mission for IT to properly allocate streaming investments across the organization. The focus is to spend budget and equip people with the tools they need based on their likelihood to actually use those capabilities.
Equipping specific groups of people with more advanced tools could mean providing better network connections, better end-user devices, and more. Typically, the employees who use video more extensively tend to be involved with technology, company information, upper management, marketing, etc. These roles are also more likely to be working on a remote or hybrid basis. This can help you define a set of workers who are more engaged with video and likely to have higher demands for video-related capabilities.
Entering a New Era of Work
The rise of enterprise video is here. The video habits shaped during the pandemic will have prompted shifts in the volume of video for those who return to the office. Acceptable video performance even during the pandemic may no longer be acceptable as people enter this new era of work.
“Industry conditions and video streaming requirements are in a constant state of change as people return to the office and IT teams start to navigate through the demands of hybrid work. If enterprises are looking to ensure network stability, they will need a flexible and robust eCDN to support their video strategy. Ramp offers all three eCDN technologies under one single license.”Steve Vonder Haar, Senior Analyst at Wainhouse Research
In the rush to shift to remote work and then the swift return to the office, video applications and network infrastructure implemented may not be suitable for longer-term use. Take note of the six considerations in this article as you thoroughly review current technology and infrastructure. Ultimately, the goal is to make better video investments that support a new technology roadmap tailored for hybrid work.
To learn more about how to ensure your network can support your return to office plans and the increasing use of video, connect with our team here.