October 26, 2012

Article

Consumer video trend points to enterprise content delivery needs

There are many sectors in which consumer and enterprise trends tend to overlap. This is especially common as the consumerization of IT takes a stronger hold in the enterprise. One area where the gap between the two markets is almost indistinguishable is video.

While there are clear differences between enterprise video plans and consumer video streaming systems, the practices that have become popular in the consumer market often carry over to the enterprise.

One of those trends is the tendency to watch video on multiple types of devices.

The multi-screen movement
According to a recent study from Parks Associates, approximately 145 million consumers in western European nations regularly watch video using online streaming services. This is fueling a major uptick in the number of television service providers who are developing multi-screen solutions plans.

The study found that between 2012 and 2016, the number of pay-TV providers offering multi-screen plans will rise from 50 to 90.

Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates, explained that the multi-screen movement in Europe is being fueled by trends in North America.

“Rapid growth of connected CE devices in the home, concerns over cord cutting, moves to adopt multiscreen by competitors and the emergence of TV Everywhere services in North America initially drove implementation of multi-screen services in Europe,” said Sappington.

Implications for the enterprise
Even shallow analysis of the enterprise market will reveal that multi-screen environments are becoming commonplace. The rise of bring-your-own-device policies is creating an environment in which many workers are using personal smartphones and tablets in the workplace. At the same time, desktop PC workstations are still prominent as a base for employees, while laptops and other mobile devices offer flexibility.

This rise of multi-screen environments in the enterprise is creating an environment in which CIOs need to consider how video travels through the network. Evaluating the network architecture can reveal areas where data flows are disrupted by bandwidth limitations. This enables organizations to make strategic upgrades to more effectively support content delivery in a multi-screen environment.

As video gains importance for employee engagement and advanced meeting strategies, organizations have to respond by ensuring effective delivery. In an increasingly mobile-focused world, content distribution strategies need to be adjusted to support the distribution of video services to to traditional PCs and mobile devices alike.