The past 48 months have seen a significant increase in work-related video consumption across sectors as diverse as healthcare, education, financial services and government.
The pandemic has changed people’s relationship with video in both their professional lives and their personal lives. With in-person gatherings becoming fewer, organizations have turned to videoconferencing to optimize collaboration and pick up the non-verbal cues that ensure effective communication. But beyond meetings, continuing enhancements of video-production technology have made it easier for more people in organizations to create their own video deliverables.
As a result, we have seen a rise in user-generated content within organizations, and this content supports a wide array of objectives. These include external-engagement initiatives that leverage compelling video for marketing and sales. They also include internal communications activities that are designed for onboarding, training and career development. This video activity has significantly added to the amount of information that enterprise networks must carry.
These factors are creating new pressures on IT staff, who have already struggled to keep up with a rising deluge of structured, unstructured and, now, Internet of Things (IoT) data. A recent survey revealed that most data centers currently utilize 60% of their resources solely for video processing. The flood of video traffic can hamper how other day-to-day business applications access enterprise technologies.
According to VITEC’s BTR-100 survey, 93% of enterprise technology executives report the need for capacity upgrades to meet end-user demand for video. This trend raises questions about how this bandwidth-intensive workload category can be deployed efficiently without swamping enterprise resources.
As organizations become increasingly dependent on video applications to achieve mission-critical objectives, sustained success will depend on technology developers and implementers’ ability to build on underlying standards that support interoperability. This will require business and technology leaders to reconsider the role that video plays in generating important outcomes, while assessing the impact that ever-increasing video traffic will have on enterprise infrastructure.
Opportunities for Innovation
One of the key opportunities to improve performance, while reducing the impact on IT resources, is to limit the number of channels used to distribute video to different users. For instance, organizations can save on bandwidth if they can stream each channel once, regardless of the number of viewers. IP multicast streaming technology delivers on this value proposition. It makes it easier to deliver live, on-demand video — up to 4K — to an unlimited number of endpoints across multiple sites. In addition to preserving bandwidth, IPTV multicast technology provides reliable and energy-efficient power consumption per channel.
Another innovation opportunity revolves around deploying technologies that can scale from both a cost and a performance perspective. One of the major benefits of IPTV technology is that it can scale to support any number of channels with high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) compression technologies. Properly deployed, it can support 4K ultra-HD and multiple end-user devices without compromising system performance, flexibility or network availability.
Security Remains Vital
Although security is always important, it is especially vital in the enterprise, where critical content is increasingly produced in video formats. The good news is that strong standards, such as high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP), have emerged to protect video traffic from source to display.
Integrating live TV streams from a wide range of sources (e.g., terrestrial, satellite, IP or cable, internal channels) will also be critical to optimizing the distribution of video across the enterprise. It’s important to understand how the content is distributed across heterogeneous networks — wired local-area networks (LANs), wireless LANs and wide-area networks (WANs), as well as the internet and mobile devices.
In short, although standards are in place to support a variety of discrete functions and are constantly evolving, the ability to mix and match these standards intuitively within integrated solutions is where the biggest innovation opportunities lie.