Featured Article from Conferencing

What's Making Big Growth in Videoconferencing Services? Look to the Cloud

March 30, 2015

Videoconferencing has made some great strides in recent years, with many companies beginning to see the value in curtailing at least some business travel in favor of connecting with a camera and a good quality Internet connection instead. A new report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA), meanwhile, shows just how far this market has come, and takes a closer look at one of the major points driving these gains: cloud videoconferencing.

According to the GIA report—titled “Video Conferencing Services: A Global Strategic Business Report”—the market for videoconferencing services worldwide is on track to hit $2.9 billion by just 2020. That's a pretty big amount to toss out, but one of the biggest growth vectors within the market is videoconferencing services that are based in the cloud. With the need to reduce operational costs on one side driving interest in the technology, and the improvement of telecom services providing the necessary bandwidth to make the technology truly feasible, the demand that follows becomes perfectly understandable.

The report further notes that the Asia-Pacific region is set for the biggest growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent. Growth in the sector can be traced to a number of factors, including a rise in new business start-ups looking for a way to connect worldwide without a lot of infrastructure costs and the expectation of “...favorable economic policies that encourage entrepreneurial activity.”

With enterprise mobility on the rise, and the mobile workforce required to drive enterprise mobility likewise on an upward track, the need to stay in touch remotely will be increasingly important. For many, that will mean videoconferencing tools that can be accessed from most anywhere with an Internet connection, and that means cloud-based solutions. The ease of access will be augmented, in turn, by the ability to further reduce costs; cloud-based solutions often require only a subscription fee to use, as most of the equipment involved is own—and therefore maintained—by someone else, removing that expense from consideration.

Essentially, the report seems to be looking for many more start-up businesses to get involved, and when same do get involved, such businesses will likely turn to videoconferencing. Not without reason, either; having access to a technology that allows for comparatively easy connectivity for the cost of a monthly subscription fee and a few basic pieces of hardware—cameras and computers, basically, though it can go on from there—is a prospect that's likely going to prove tough to pass up. But this also assumes some growth in the start-up market, and that may or may not prove to materialize. However, there's more than enough application beyond the start-up market—telemedicine, telecommuting for schools, and so much more—to make the start-up activity just one part among many.

Only the arrival of 2021 will show how accurate GIA's projections are, but there's certainly logic enough here to suggest it will be close if nothing else. Still, videoconferencing has proven to be a major part of the lineup for a lot of companies, and it likely won't slow down any time soon.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino