40 million conference rooms still lack video equipment.

If the new normal for workplaces fails to foster effective human collaboration, employees may revert to older, out-of-date video equipment technology, according to Canalys Forums APAC 2021 chief analyst Matthew Ball. 

“We’ve made a quantum leap forward in terms of technology since the pandemic, which has enabled us to thrive,” Ball explained. 

He claimed that the digital transition has introduced new challenges, the most significant of which is a greater expectation of immediacy. He described the situation in the following terms: 

Everything must happen at the speed of light 

We anticipate same-day delivery on all purchases, food delivered in less than an hour, and the ability to binge-watch a television series without having to wait a week for the next instalment. 

Ball identified five current industry challenges: producing enough semiconductors to meet demand; developing information security resilience and the people to implement it; meeting demand for intelligent IT automation that delivers instantaneous digital experiences that never test customers’ patience; and a race for sustainability as the IT sector increases emissions and electricity consumption in the midst of a climate crisis.

The fifth race is intended to promote greater human cooperation. Cloud and conferencing platforms, as well as the intangible element of social behaviours, aid in this race. 

40 million conference rooms still lack video equipment.
40 million conference rooms still lack video equipment.

According to Canalys, the world has 59 million physical meeting rooms, of which only 15% are video-enabled. While cloud storage and conferencing platforms have improved in these 59 million meeting rooms, remembering to unmute yourself continues to be difficult. 

“These platforms promote meeting equality,” Ball said, adding that “every participant has their own tile.” While bandwidth, audio video lighting, and other variables differ, everyone has the opportunity to have the same meeting experience.” 

Equal opportunity is under threat

In the workplace, the playing field has been somewhat levelled, as each attendee has an equal amount of space with an equal chance of spouses lurking in the background and other modern messes. 

However, as more offices reopen and hybrid work environments become the norm, equal opportunity is under threat. Ball believes that not everyone will be visible during meetings or have a physical presence in the decision-making room. 

While there are solutions for bridging the physical and virtual worlds, they have not yet been fully optimised for ease of use, consistency of experience, multiplatform improbability, security, and cost. 

Employees may abandon this technology if it is not optimised or equalised due to their clumsy adaptation and associated hilarity. 

“None of us have ten minutes at the start of each meeting to get everything set up.” “We also don’t have the time to train people on how to use them,” Ball explained of his unexpectedly dystopian workplace situation. 

Video Equipment: Final Words

“The risk is that we will revert to older technology, such as audio conferencing, which required a 12-digit phone number and a six-digit passcode to access, followed by a roll call of ‘who is on the line’ because you couldn’t see them.” 

He then warned that as a result, collaboration would be irreversibly altered. The not-so-subtle implication is that we do not want to return and must therefore move forward – quickly.



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