Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

98 V I EWPO I NT Digital transformation and a greater number of connected devices are leading the audiovisual and IT sectors to work together to develop pioneering new technologies that are transforming how people work and live DAN GOL D S T E I N : AV I XA The great convergence of AV and IT 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. “The AV and IT industries are pioneering advanced technologies that are already changing how people work and play”