The mobile and remote working revolution over the past decade or more has changed how many of us view “work”. It’s no longer just somewhere you go, so much as something you do. As businesses have embraced the concept of an agile workforce, they have introduced new technologies to ensure employees, customers and suppliers can continue to communicate and work effectively, wherever they might be.
With such a focus on the networking elements that underpin your day-to-day business, it can be easy to forget the display technologies included within this mix. The use of AV as part of collaboration and remote working processes has helped move this technology away from the fringes of business operations to become the fulcrum for effective day-to-day working.
Just as your critical IT infrastructure requires robust monitoring and management processes, so does your AV estate. Although it’s not typically considered critical in the same terms as core IT infrastructure, it can cause significant business disruption when it goes wrong.
Although an issue with the large screen or room management system in your meeting room(s) or huddle space(s) isn’t necessarily as obvious as with similar technology in other areas (e.g. your meet and greet areas or boardroom). Any problems, no matter their location, present barriers to your teams being able to collaborate and work effectively in these spaces and use them as intended.
Unlike traditional IT assets, such as servers or network switches, these display technologies are also accessible, tangible items that staff members are used to interacting with in both their working and personal lives. If it doesn’t look and sound good, people notice. There is only so much that can go wrong within these systems before it begins to impact on efficiency, productivity and morale within your business.
Another key consideration facing decision makers is where support for your AV estate truly lies. With the evolution of building management systems, the continual merging of IT and facilities operations has in most cases become the norm. As a result, this change raises key questions as to who is responsible for the support of these assets and who is best placed to provide the relevant support. While AV/display technologies require a similar level of support to IT systems, they do require a different skillset and experience level to get the most from them.
The level of AV support required is variable and should be specific to your needs, business size and reliance on this technology. An important step is to review your estate and define the critical importance of your various assets. This will allow you to create a tiered support approach that allows you to flex and scale the type and frequency of support needed to align with the criticality of the asset in question.
For larger organisations that operate multiple offices, across different locations, it can be a challenge to monitor and proactively address challenges as they appear. Ensuring you have a robust AV support service in place provides a layer of intelligence to your AV management, moving you away from the continuous cycle of reactive working to a proactive methodology.
This type of shift will allow you to take back control and pre-emptively make fixes/updates ahead of time, leading to a reduction in the associated costs for last-minute call outs, service downtime and large-scale fixes for broken or damaged equipment.
The natural ebb and flow of AV support combined with the tiered criticality of any assets means that for most organisations, there isn’t a requirement for retained in-house AV support.
Utilising outsourced AV support is a win-win for your business, allowing you to scale and flex the type and frequency to match your needs. This approach also allows you to engage a support partner that proactively monitors and helps you remain ahead of the maintenance curve, that are up-to-date with the latest technology and standards, and can be deployed in the location(s) you need, when you need it.
If you want to maximise the lifetime of your hardware, ensure you achieve the best ROI from your AV investment, unburden your IT teams and deliver the best working environment for your staff, don’t be afraid to think outside the box, or the organisation.