Guest contributor |
Since the dawn of the information age, most industries have been rapidly moving towards an inevitable intersection with IT.
As any old-school auto mechanic will tell you, gone are the days when they simply popped the bonnet, turned a wrench and rolled the car out of the garage with all its problems fixed. Now, they must update onboard computers to analyse the cause of any given issue that needs repairing. This means technicians must also serve as automobile IT experts. The audiovisual (AV) world is much the same as the IT industry in that managed applications have become the lifeblood of all AV communications.
Convergence is defined as the merging of distinct technologies into a unified whole and, as technology advances, AV and IT have become increasingly integrated. But the convergence of AV and IT involves more than simply merging traditional AV and IT systems. Thanks to an emphasis on corporate strategy and end-user needs, the two entities are no longer siloed and now actively work in conjunction with one another.
Not long ago, AV equipment operated independently, using specialised hardware, purpose-built software and dedicated control systems. Servers, network infrastructure and end points were the primary focus of corporate IT departments. But a digital transformation is now taking place across the globe as devices become more connected and provide new and significant opportunities for employees and customers to interact. This transformation means that a more comprehensive range of AV equipment is now being provisioned and managed by IT departments.
This evolution has resulted in a mandate for integration between these two groups, which is critical to the success of project implementations. To ensure an organisation remains competitive, the IT teams must gain a deeper understanding of AV technology, and the AV departments should undertake a deep dive into the IT department’s processes, policies and technologies.
Although the convergence of AV and IT can trace its roots to the 1990s when the telecommunications and data network industries merged to create technologies like smartphones and voice over internet protocol, its rich legacy is still being felt today. Now, the AV and IT industries are jointly pioneering advanced technologies like interactive touchscreen displays, projection mapping, cloud-based storage and apps, and metaverse applications that are already changing how people work and play.
Across the board, Fortune 500 firms, colleges, healthcare facilities and many other organisations in multiple industry sectors are undergoing technological convergence. For communication, collaboration and productivity to be optimised, AV and IT teams must continue to work closely together to deliver systems that support organisational strategies and industry demands, both now and in the future.
As the international trade association representing the AV industry, AVIXA is keen to explore how the convergence of AV and IT is impacting organisations in multiple industry verticals. To do this, it is inviting businesses to share their expertise and experiences via AVIXA Xchange, a global collaboration platform that connects thought leaders, solution providers and innovative manufacturers with today’s technology buyers. The platform provides a forum for sharing expertise, knowledge and connections to drive innovation in the AV and IT space, enabling every segment of the industry to thrive.
To participate in the discussion, visit xchange.avixa.org
Dan Goldstein is chief marketing officer at AVIXA
This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.