Despite hiccups, video conferencing will progress
While video conferencing continues to be in demand across the private sector, the market for the technology continues to show mixed signals. This was highlighted in a new study by IDC, which found industry revenues were down 4.8 percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same time last year, yet profits were up 7.1 percent from the second quarter.
"As expected, a down year for the overall enterprise video conferencing and telepresence market continued in 3Q12. This is mostly due to uncertainty stemming from macroeconomic concerns and a continuing decline in high-end immersive systems," said Rich Costello, senior analyst at IDC.
Costello also said that many corporate executives are taking the time to develop more robust strategies so their organization can use the most advanced video conferencing tools on the market without experiencing issues down the line. This is leading to longer decision cycles, which may account for slow year-over-year growth.
Even though the industry is relatively volatile, analysts believe the overall market will continue expanding in the coming years, especially as enterprises launch unified communications and collaboration initiatives that require the use of video solutions.
"Video as a key component of collaboration continues to place high on the list of priorities for many organizations and we anticipate a return to positive market growth in 2013," said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst at IDC.
Video for remote working
As the consumerization of IT continues to disrupt the workplace, more employees are conducting business tasks outside the office but are still required to stay connected with colleagues and customers. As a result, enterprises around the world are adopting video conferencing tools.
This was highlighted in a separate study by the Fraunhofer Institute, which revealed 70 percent of individuals were more likely to remotely participate in corporate meetings when video conferencing was involved. Another 81 percent of respondents said video conferencing delivers more genuine enterprise collaboration than email or voice-only phone systems.
As the private sector continues to adopt bring your own device (BYOD) and other mobile initiatives, video conferencing will become an increasingly important part of unified communications deployments, which will allow employees to visually connect with one another, regardless of platform type or operating system. As a result, the video conferencing market is bound to move forward.