By Kevin Crayton – VP of Product Management
“Consumerization,” along with “cloud computing,” “virtualization” and “Angry Birds,” is among the many buzzwords to hit the enterprise IT department of late. It describes the trend that allows employees to use otherwise consumer-focused technology, like smartphones and tablets, to complete business tasks.
On the surface, this practice offers myriad benefits, allowing employees to work with whichever devices suit them best and enabling them to be more efficient. On the other hand, this can create some challenges. This is especially true when it comes to delivering enterprise video to employees on the platform and in the format they prefer.
Well, that is to say, it presents challenges if you fail to prepare for consumerization.
Video is becoming a bigger part of business practices, as companies turn to it for everything from employee engagement and training to broadcasting town hall meetings and live streaming events. This sounds good in theory, but given the number of different devices now accessing the corporate network to watch video – high-quality video at that – businesses may quickly discover that their infrastructure is not set up to handle such demand.
This is where cloud computing comes into play. A cloud-based enterprise content delivery network enables employees to access video content regardless of device and regardless of where they are located, whether in the office, at home or waiting in line at the DMV. Not only does this ensure added strain is not put on the company’s network – a common complaint with traditional content delivery networks – it also negates the need for hardware installation.
Cloud-based solutions are incredibly scalable as well, meaning services can be expanded or constricted at any given time. If, for example, a business plans to hold a company-wide town hall but doesn’t have the physical space for all its employees to attend, it may consider live streaming the event over the company network. This would obviously result in more employees accessing the same video at the same time, putting significant stress on the network.
With the cloud, however, the company can simply adjust its deliverables as needed, scaling up services to prepare for the big event and allowing employees to access the video from whichever device they prefer. When video demand returns to normal, the services can be scaled down again, ensuring the company doesn’t overspend on bandwidth it doesn’t need.
A January 2012 study released by Avanade revealed that nearly 90 percent of companies have embraced consumerization in some form or fashion. As the spread of consumer mobile devices continues to expand, businesses would be well inclined to adopt video solutions that ensure they can support this trend and leverage its many benefits.