Digital Transformation: Part 2 – Move At the Speed of Technology Change

My Digital Transformation Part 1 looked at innovation, disruption and the necessary mindshift – Part 2 focuses on how going digital appears to be the ultimatum facing businesses these days, where competitors must seek the proper tools that can give them an edge. Many, however, still find themselves wondering where to begin this transition and the AV industry overall is still trying to figure out all of the proper directions to take the client in.

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In March 2015, a Cisco sponsored Forrester report (focused on CIO’s) Digital Predator Or Digital Prey? was published which asks:

By 2020 every business will become a digital predator or digital prey — which will your company evolve into?

It continues:

The predators will be the companies able to achieve digital mastery, harnessing digital to create new sources of value for customers. The prey will remain Digital Dinosaurs, unable to evolve their proven business model until it’s too late.

How are you as a resource in the commercial AV industry, whether in manufacturing or integration, helping to provide this pathway for the organizational CIO or tech manager? Are you providing a path to this digital mastery for the client? No one wants to be “the prey” and some of those we’ve always done it this way and been successful types are even beginning to see the light.

The question is where to begin – especially for them?

In a recent silicon ANGLE article Does every company have to become a technology company? | #EC16, Rowan Trollope, SVP & GM of the collaboration technology group at Cisco Systems, Inc. stated “When companies are digitizing, they need better collaboration tools. That’s the first thing they need.” He also contended that collaboration tools help make communication between IT and other employees as speedy and frictionless as digitization demands.

In the article Trollope makes the claim that technology is something which absolutely needs to be woven into the fabric of every business. “Every company has to become a technology company,” he stated. “The question is how many of them are going to be able to make the transition. That’s a hard transition to make.”

Is it at all strange that this transition is still considered to be a difficult one in 2016? As we know collaboration is just one industry-focused technology, however when you come to think of it, we know that business does not get done without at least two parties engaging in some sort of collaborative effort. The idea of a meeting on laptop or mobile device suggests that it should be able to get done from anywhere at any time. As evidenced below – walk in the door at 5:30, get the notification that you need to jump into an important videoconference and in minutes… meeting!

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As a matter of fact I do it all the time. I can put together a three person videoconference in a minute’s notice and it’s not difficult at all. I can arrange a ten person videoconference and again, it’s not difficult. In fact I’ve been doing it for three years now with cloud videoconferencing.

Here’s a statement by cloud videoconferencing services provider Videxio:

Effective collaboration and communication are essential when it comes to your company’s success. The sharing of ideas, requests, and feedback are all important parts of the innovative process. If your company doesn’t have effective communication between all departments, your productivity will suffer. Video communication and collaboration provides everyone with the tools needed to effectively express their ideas, bring attention to their needs, and ask the important questions.

This statement is from a blog dated March 11, 2016 and as we know this kind of technology has existed for several years now. While cloud and software-driven applications still seem to be rising to the surface in AV, they are already there in IT. The CIO and tech manager are already working in this IT-based mindset with servers and storage, so why is the transition – the so-called AV/IT transition – so difficult then?

This is exactly why the commercial side of the industry needs to work from a technology perspective and not AV or even AV/IT. There are those in the industry claiming that commercial audio visual is becoming more of a subset of information technology – I wrote a blog in April 2015 con·ver·gence — Part 2: Going Way Beyond the Talk where I published a statement made by InfoComm International Executive Director and CEO Dave Labuskes on a podcast show that I was a participant in. It was his answer to a question I had asked him about his thoughts concerning certain IT topics and IT in general as applied to the AV industry:

“We are well past the time where we should be talking about convergence and AV/IT and acknowledge the fact that AV is a specialty that lives within the information technology and IT communications community…. AV is a specialty that focuses on people and the experience, so you can have the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything, AV is still about bringing the message to people and that requires specialized knowledge and specialized expertise.”

I also noted in the blog that Labuskes is a Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD), a credential awarded to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry professionals. Those awarded with this designation have demonstrated their knowledge in the design, implementation, integration and project management of telecommunications and data communications technology and related infrastructure.

Unified communications, collaboration, audio, video, digital signage, data communications and infrastructure – Technology. If you are in the audio visual industry – manufacturer, integrator or consultant – you have the great ability to provide solutions as well as bring the message like no other, even while being considered a subset industry.

So bring it – and move at the speed of technology change, or fall prey to those who are already accessing the digital superhighway.

 

References:

Forrester – Digital Predator Or Digital Prey?

Videxio – Four Ways Video Collaboration Drives Innovation