Video Conferencing Expected to Be Preferred Communication Method in Two Years
When it comes to video conferencing technology taking over the business world as the preferred method of communication, the prevailing question is not if, but when it will happen. This is good news for an industry that experienced some decline in 2012 and 2013. According to e-Week, Q4 2013 sales for video conferencing equipment declined 17.9 percent from Q4 2012.
According to Digital World’s Tim Sandle, this milestone should be reached some time in 2016. The advantages of the technology outweigh its disadvantages. Companies can save money on travel costs and call meetings in multiple offices globally on a moment’s notice. Attendees can participate without leaving the office or if they are unable to travel to an off-site meeting and attend in person.
The drawbacks of video conferencing are relatively few by comparison and less likely to come into play. Unique circumstances, like the signing of confidential documents may require that a meeting take place in person. There may be other technical issues like performing certain types of presentations that do not lend themselves well to video.
Other studies seem to support Sandle’s conclusions. A recent MarketsandMarkets study predicts that the enterprise video market, which includes video conferencing among other related hardware and software products, will more than triple from $11.21 billion in 2013 to $35.57 billion in 2018.
A Polycom survey provides more detailed insight into how the shift towards video conferencing will unfold. Responses from survey participants currently indicate that 89 percent ranked email as the preferred method of communication. That was followed by voice/conference calls at 64 percent, and video conferencing at 47 percent.
Fifty-two percent of these same respondents felt that in three years video conferencing would take over the top ranking, slightly ahead of email (51 percent), with voice/conference calls dropping significantly to 37 percent.
The numbers all but seem to confirm that video conferencing has recovered from its struggles of two years ago. The cost savings are too compelling, the technology has caught up and the reasons for not using are so few that companies can no longer ignore it as a communications tool.
Edited by Adam Brandt