Technological obsolescence is challenging enough in your personal life. At work, being an AV budget decision-maker really ups the obsolescence ante. Customers can get frustrated spending money on AV technology just to see it become quickly outdated. At the same time, they know that use of and access to innovative technology provides a competitive advantage. That’s why it is important to look at future proofing AV.
Investment in technology as a year-over-year line item is a given. That doesn’t mean the AV tech budget needs to be eye-popping. With forethought and planning, the return on investment can be maximized. Integrators can be an invaluable help to future proof client investment in AV technology. Here are five ways integrators can help provide valuable advice on AV tech investments:
- Scalability: A future proof AV plan will ensure that components can be added or subtracted depending on the needs of the organization. At the moment, maybe you need only a display screen in a vestibule – but plan to add several in conference rooms and other spaces in the coming months and years. Scaling up or down should be made simple and cost-effective. In a fascinating study on how to future proof a Buddhist shrine, sound was the main decision-making factor. The project included a speaker installation with an integrated processor and a mixing console. This allowed for pristine sound quality in the Lihn Phong Spiritual Dharma complex, while setting up the space for scalability into the future.
- Future Needs: Scalability is one aspect of attending to future needs. Beyond scalability, wider assessment is required. In assessing future needs, several factors matter. You and the integrator will need to discuss and understand the current situation and near-future plans. Are you looking at only current structures, or is construction a part of the overall plan? You will need to understand what kind of AV budget is anticipated. It is important to have a realistic picture of what is possible within budget and current technological constraints.
- Cloud Compatibility: More and more productivity and task platforms are cloud-based. This is especially true in AV, as conferences, one-on-ones, content viewing – all happen in the ether of the cloud. In future proofing AV outlay, cloud compatibility should be a standard for any purchase in the AV budget line. Integrators need to ensure that their clients are aware this is happening.
- Interoperability: The cloud is accelerating interoperability. To future proof AV investment, interoperability is a must. There are challenges on this front. Hardware and service providers all looking for market share have not all come together singing kumbaya; Not every piece of equipment will seamlessly play nicely with others. Integrators can help clients optimize in this area.
- Maintenance Plan: This is perhaps the most important piece of a future proof AV strategy. A maintenance plan should take into account the fixes, patches and preventive care needed on systems and equipment. Clients should see this not as a clever way of integrators keeping their foot in the door, but as a wise investment with a valued partner in future proofing their AV technology investment.
As a trusted advisor, AV integrators are the first line of future proofing defense for AV consumers. Future proofing will involve not just the tech, but evolving use of the space. Yesterday’s foosball lounge is today’s video conferencing room. What will that space be used for tomorrow? Integrators can work with clients to future proof AV budgets, from cloud platform fees to room re-purposing.
Staying ahead of the curve in AV tech deployment can be daunting. With good planning and nimble execution, it doesn’t have to be.