woman having video chat with grandparents

Mobile video communication: Enterprise ready? Or consumer toy?

by Daniel Newman
We are all becoming more familiar with mobile video apps.

Today, apps like Skype and FaceTime allow us to call home or chat face to face with a friend from anywhere. These platforms work, they are simple, and they integrate with our mobile lifestyle. And they have exponentially increased our comfort levels with mobile video conferencing.

​With a rise in BYOD culture in business, many of us would feel comfortable taking video calls on our iPads, laptops, and mobile phones while working. The question is whether or not these consumer grade services can meet enterprise communication standards for security and privacy.

Many of us are using these apps frequently in our personal lives, but has this trend taken off in business?

How often are we using secure, private, and high quality video platforms for our enterprise communications? A recent Infonetics research report1 showed that video conferencing has been gaining popularity in the workforce, with “the worldwide enterprise telepresence and video conferencing market to grow to $3.3 billion in 2018.” The firm found that 93 percent of medium and large organizations surveyed plan to implement video conferencing into their unified communication solution by early 2016.

From toy to tool

Many of us are carrying a video camera in our pockets and purses, and can have it in hand in seconds. We love the ease of connecting with our loved ones, not only hearing their voices, but looking into their eyes as well. Mobile video’s pervasiveness has increased our personal comfort level exponentially. The ease and availability of video calling, both within social media platforms that we use daily and in apps on our phone that are just a press of the finger away, is just one reason we’re becoming more comfortable. With a rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture in business, many of us would feel comfortable taking video calls on our iPads, laptops, and mobile phones while working. The question is whether or not these consumer grade services can meet enterprise communication standards for security and privacy.

Super connectivity, simplicity, and safety

Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC) have created an “always on” and “always connected” environment for enterprise. In an age of daily data breaches, businesses are more apt to put stringent guidelines in place, and the desire to limit or ban employee use of personal devices for work may be strong, albeit unrealistic. Even with the rules firmly in place, consumer tools are bleeding into our organizations. More often than not, employees are using consumer tools, not because they intend to leak valuable company information, but simply because they are familiar and simple to use.

Today’s workforce is experiencing a shift where work can be done at any time, and from anywhere. Remote work opportunities are more common, and employees who find themselves traveling, or working from the home office, are still able to be productive thanks to cloud solutions and mobile connectivity. Shadow IT, the practice of using technology tools, applications, and software without the knowledge or approval of the IT Department, leads to more and more consumer grade tools weaving their way into the fabric of our business world — whether we want them there or not.
These once novel video calls, which let us catch up with family and friends and bridge the gap of time and distance, have become instrumental for connecting with our coworkers, collaborating on projects, and meeting with clients. Employees want solutions that are familiar, easy to use, and simple to access. Enterprises want solutions that are cost effective and don’t put their employees or data at risk. Enterprise grade solutions that incorporate the needs of employees while mitigating security risks will find a happy home in the business world.

Mobile video communication is poised to make the jump from toy to tool as young workers step through the doors of our businesses. The next generation was born with these devices in hand, they’ve grown up with mobile video technology and they are sure to bring it, and the future, with them into the workforce.

Is your team ready to collaborate over video?

Make sure you arm them with the right tools.
Daniel Newman
Dan Newman is the president and founder of Broadsuite, where he consults a wide range of brands on their digital strategies. He is the author of 2 books, including the Amazon best-selling business book, “The Millennial CEO,” and “The New Rules of Customer Engagement.” Newman also contributes to Forbes, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur, and was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 business and leadership accounts to follow on Twitter.
1 "Infonetics: Shift to software and services in enterprise videoconferencing market tamps revenue growth."marketwired.com. September 18,2014. http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/infonetics-shift-software-services-enterprise-videoconferencing-market-tamps-revenue-1948892.htm
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