From IP cameras to digital signage, here are 5 AV trends impacting the workplace right now

May 24,2021 in  RMM & Networking
by Vanya Petrova

Nowadays we’re seeing businesses of all shapes and sizes adopting new technology like security cameras, unified communications systems and digital signage in the workplace. These new devices and systems also provide integrators continued opportunities to adapt and offer new services to businesses. 

AV trends impacting commercial integrators right now

The latest AV trends from flexible working, comfortable environments, increased demands for security and the ability to collaborate are driving changes to the typical technology found in any workplace. 

Nowadays we’re seeing businesses of all shapes and sizes adopting new technology like security cameras, unified communications systems and digital signage in the workplace. These new devices and systems also provide integrators continued opportunities to adapt and offer new services to businesses. 

Here are some of the top AV trends impacting the workplace right now. 

1)Security Cameras are being used more than ever

Physical security devices like cameras and alarm systems can help businesses protect themselves from theft, cyber crimes and in general act as a preventative measure for liability if a workplace event occurs (for example, an employee slips and falls). 

The use of analog cameras used to be the status quo from security, which also prevented businesses and homes from widespread adoption of the technology. 

This is because Analog cameras are pretty complicated to set-up, maintain and are also very pricey. 

The use of Wireless Internet Protocol-based (IP) cameras has been growing year over year because they are more affordable and user friendly. Because IP cameras are so accessible, businesses of all shapes and sizes have an increased interest in using them to boost physical security in their work space. 

In fact, the IP camera market is expected to grow to be worth $20 billion by 2025

As a service provider the mass installation of IP cameras proves a new opportunity to offer services around these devices. 

For example; with Domotz you can offer remote network monitoring services for IP cameras to ensure they are functioning, online and pointed in the right direction. 

Afterall, what good is a security camera anyways if it’s not pointing in the right direction or offline? 

2) Digital Signage is increasingly a part of every workspace 

Digital signage is being used more in every kind of workplace and it’s becoming pretty clear that digital displays are not only just for retail any more. Digital signage is becoming a standard element of the modern workplace and it has been hailed as one of the fastest-growing AV solutions. This is because digital signage technology has improved tremendously and is available at accessible prices. 

Businesses are using digital signage for entry displays, internal communication walls, health and safety updates or even to display live social media feeds to boost employee morale and engagement. 

The reason why digital signage works so effectively is because it makes employees and visitors feel welcome and makes it easier for people to navigate the office environment. 

Most importantly, corporate digital signage can improve internal communications by informing, inspiring, entertaining and enhancing employee engagement.

At the same time nothing looks worse than a digital display that isn’t working or displaying some sort of error code. 

Businesses usually require professional services for setting up, installing, monitoring and maintaining digital signage technology. 

Thankfully, integrators are not alone in providing services for these devices. There are affordable network monitoring tools to help service providers monitor and maintain digital signage technology so they can offer value added services around these systems. 

3) Every type of business is using some form of Unified Communications (UC)

This year we’ve seen so many different types of businesses engaging in video conferencing from doctors and dentists to court rooms and schools. 

Almost every industry has adopted some form of a video conferencing or a unified communications tool. 

Although more employees will be returning to their offices soon, most companies will still continue operating a hybrid model of both employees working in the office and at home on a daily basis. 

As a result of the new hybrid workplace,  employees need integrated video conferencing and unified communications systems for homes, at the office and in conference rooms. 

Managing unified communications systems can be complex and time consuming and thus many companies are outsourcing this job to MSPs, service providers and commercial integrators. 

Tools like Domotz network monitoring system helps service providers manage unified communication systems. 

For example; service providers can use the software to remotely monitor and manage unified communications system components, ensure that hardware and software specs are up-to-date and to ensure employees are running the right software.

4) The invasion of IoT devices 

In recent years, the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) has increased exponentially. 

As more IoT devices enter the network, vulnerabilities also increase. IoT solutions are notoriously vulnerable due to their complexity and lack of standard security policies. 

IoT devices can have a significant impact on the network. Depending on the device and its function, network bandwidth can be consumed, taking available network resources from your AV equipment. This can impact the overall experience associated with the AV systems.

Service providers now more than ever need a proactive network monitoring system to help manage devices, networks and processes in real-time. 

The challenge is no longer whether to monitor a network or not – the challenge is really how to decide what to monitor on a network and which devices are crucial to the network infrastructure and security. 

5) AV trends like Bring your own device (BYOD) will increase

As we all return to the office for work, AV trends like BYOD will be rapidly adopted by many companies as their integral workplace policy to avoid physical interaction. People will now have the freedom to use their preferred device at home and at the office. 

Many employees will bring their own device to the office but not only laptops. More and more employees will be bringing all the devices they use to work comfortably like laptops, tablets, smartphones, virtual assistant tools like Alexa, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers, and even entertainment devices such as e-readers and game consoles. 

When it comes to BYOD, security is the top concern. As an AV Integrator, understanding how you can keep the Unified Communications and Digital Signage systems safe, secure and running efficiently is important. As an owner of the AV systems, learning and understanding how the IT infrastructure works inside the business environment is important. Having knowledge of IT networking is becoming more critical, even as an AV integrator.

IT administrators need to have full knowledge of the networks and devices they manage and need to rely on a remote network monitoring system to stay informed about all the devices connected on a network. 

Complex networks are here to stay

Changing forces in the workplace, a global pandemic and more reliance on multiple devices is changing how people work. All of these new AV trends offer service providers an opportunity to create new and updated service offers for the modern workplace. 

Business networks are becoming even more complex and that trend is only going to continue. This is good news for service providers who are equipped to handle new AV trends and technology demands.