Future trends focuses on change

After attending the InfoComm Future Trends summit at ISE 2013, Steve Montgomery shares some thoughts provoked by a day of presentations and debate.

For users of technology, the need focuses on an ability to access a very wide variety of data in an equally wide variety of types and formats. The driving factors hinge around their desire to free themselves from the traditional constraints of deskbound and traditional working practices in a move that allows far greater efficiency through collaboration and communication with colleagues.

The way we carry out our business is changing, and this presenting problems to both the AV and IT industries for a variety reasons.

For the IT departments of private and public industries data is becoming commoditised; secure data is being demanded by users on all their devices and must be available wherever they choose to work. So, they have to manage this transfer of assets and information and need to implement reliable, all-encompassing networks for fixed and mobile devices.

For AV departments, video is so much more important and widespread; it has to be both captured and displayed and may take any of a number of formats with the inherent issue of translation, formatting and switching.

For both, the method of presenting up-to-date data to different platforms in a manner that allows it to be digested and understood is a challenge. Typically new applications such as dashboard-type access to information provide a familiar and understandable interface to users and one that is being followed as a viable solution.

Users have access to a far greater stable of communication devices in the domestic environment and are demanding their integration into their business practices; they see no reason why this should not happen and are forcing the change - citing lack of cooperation and an inability to face the future to any IT manager who opposes the suggestion.

In turn, the way we use the technology itself is bringing about radical change. Email communication and face-to-face meetings of the last century gave way to the SMS and instant communication of the last decade but is now usurped by the social media philosophy of the last year or two.

Nowadays, but only temporarily, the emphasis is on immediate collaboration between colleagues in groups that form quickly and disband equally as quickly, depending upon the task in hand. A practice instigated by the younger generation who will be replaced in their time by an even younger generation with their own preferred practices.