Technological obsolescence is challenging enough in everyday life. At work, being an AV budget decision-maker really ups the obsolescence ante. Clients can get frustrated spending money on AV technology just to see it become quickly outdated. At the same time, that use of and access to innovative technology provides a competitive advantage. That’s why they are looking to “future proof”.
Investment in technology as a year-over-year line item is a given. That doesn’t mean AV tech budgets need to be eye-popping. With forethought and planning, the return on investment can be maximized. Engineers can be an invaluable help to future proof investments in AV technology.
Scalability: A future proof AV plan will ensure that components can be added or subtracted depending on the needs of the organization. Maybe a project needs only a display screen in a vestibule right now but has plans to add several in conference rooms and other spaces in the coming months and years. Scaling up or down should be made simple and cost-effective.
Future Needs: Scalability is one aspect of attending to future needs. Beyond scalability, wider assessment is required. In assessing future needs, several factors matter. Engineers will need to understand the clients’ current situation and near-future plans. Are you looking at only current structures, or is construction a part of the master plan? Engineers and designers will need to understand what kind of AV budget is anticipated. Clients will need a realistic picture of what is possible within their budget and current technological constraints.
Cloud Compatibility: More and more productivity and task platforms are cloud-based. This is especially true in AV, as conferences, one-on-ones and content viewing all happen in the ether of the cloud. In future proofing AV outlay, cloud compatibility should be a standard for any purchase in the AV budget line.
Interoperability: The cloud is accelerating interoperability. To future proof AV investment, interoperability is a must. There are challenges on this front. Hardware and service providers all looking for market share have not come together singing kumbaya; Not every piece of equipment will seamlessly play nicely with others.
Maintenance Plan: This is perhaps the most important piece of a future proof AV strategy. A maintenance plan should consider the fixes, patches and preventive care needed on systems and equipment. This is not as a clever way of keeping a foot in the door, but a wise investment with a valued engineering partner in future proofing an AV technology investment.
As a trusted advisor, expert engineers are the first line of future proofing defense. Future proofing will involve not just the tech, but evolving use of space. Yesterday’s foosball lounge is today’s video conferencing room. What will that space be used for tomorrow?
Staying ahead of the curve in AV tech deployment can be daunting, but with good planning and nimble execution, it doesn’t have to be.