Many IT teams are confronted with the task of taking a holistic approach to communications, creating roadmaps that integrate and unify multiple communication solutions across their user’s changing needs and preferred devices. Understanding how to optimize the use of smartphones, tablets, and desktops across the various locations users collaborate from – “the road”, home offices, enterprise workspaces, and conference rooms is a challenge in-and-of itself. This challenge is compounded as the supporting communications technology and solutions are shifting rapidly.
A number of key trends are poised to impact conference room collaboration. These trends range from changes in technology, new user preferences and communication habits, and shifts in organizational strategies:
– The mobile workforce: Workers are increasingly mobile and have adopted the tools they need to be productive working from home, while the road, or from wherever they may be. Their mobile devices have become increasingly powerful and are able to handle advanced communications workloads. The effectiveness of these tools, combined with their social acceptance, makes it no longer necessary to have everyone physically meet in the same room in order to conduct a successful meeting.
– Communication preferences: The introduction of cloud-based personal communication services such as Skype, Lync, and Jabber are changing how workers prefer to communicate. For example, instant messaging (IM) is increasingly popular for short, ad hoc messages, and the use of personal and group video conferencing solutions is increasing rapidly. This is catalyzing a shift in work processes from structured, scheduled meetings to on-demand, just-in-time exchanges.
– The shift to software: Communication solutions are shifting from hardware to software-based architectures, allowing for a wider distribution of download-and-install audio, video, and data sharing communication clients – which in turn enables mobile workers and distributed teams. – Real-estate initiatives: Enterprises continue to evaluate their real-estate strategy in an effort to contain costs and maximize efficiency. These initiatives are coupled with trends towards telecommuting, open seating environments, hot-desking, and other strategies to reduce an organization’s real estate footprint.
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