Interactive Whiteboard mounted in board room during meeting

Does IWB collaboration technology make good business sense?


Considerations for using interactive flat panel displays (IFPD).

Read time: 4 minutes

For years, interactive whiteboards (IWB) — perhaps more accurately referred to as interactive flat panel displays (IFPD) — have seen a lot of use in the classroom. Teachers often work with IFPDs daily, and as a result, they become very proficient at using them to enhance lessons and increase student engagement. It's not uncommon to see teachers using IFPDs with ease to highlight key points, display beautiful charts and graphs, and digitally share notes with students.

Businesses have not typically seen this level of success with digital whiteboards. In the past, technology has been notorious for its steep learning curve over the years, and most company employees don't use digital whiteboards often enough to become as fluent as teachers. If you've worked with a smart board or similar device in the past, you've likely been discouraged by the amount of training needed to operate it with skill.

Fortunately, there are digital whiteboards on the market today that are easy to use and can raise business collaboration to a level that meets the increasing needs of agile work environments. But to find a good fit for your business, you should make sure one or all of the following conditions are met:

1. Your business environment is ideal for this type of collaborative technology.

2. The IFPD is as easy to use as a smart device and requires little or no training.

3. TCO is low, making scaling up by purchasing more IFPDs in the future practical.

Is your business environment whiteboard friendly?

Simple and effective interactive whiteboards

Ease of use is absolutely essential when an IFPD will be shared by staff in a general-purpose conference room. For this type of situation, look for an intuitive device that's as easy to use as an iPad or smartphone, and lets you:

  • Write on the display without the need for an expensive pen device.

  • Connect to additional devices — including smartphones, laptops, tablets and other IFPDs — for real-time collaboration and sharing.

  • Easily upload documents from laptops and smart devices.

  • Use popular business apps in conjunction with your IFPD.

  • Interact with live technical support directly on the display.

Ideally, any employee should be able to walk into the meeting room, log onto the IFPD, connect a laptop or mobile device to access documents, and get their meeting underway with little or no previous training. An effective IFPD will also make it easy for all participants to collaborate and share ideas by connecting their own familiar laptops and smart devices to the whiteboard.

No matter what your business situation is, with today's technology, there's rarely a reason to purchase an IFPD that requires intensive training, nor is there any reason to make a big investment.

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