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Is there relief for hybrid-driven demands on IT?

Dave McKean
Posted by Dave McKean on Nov 23, 2022 6:00:00 AM
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Is there relief for hybrid-driven demands on IT?

Simplifying Remote Collaboration – In the era of hybrid work and learning, many IT pros are being asked to play a greater role in supporting remote collaboration. This blog is part of an ongoing content series that looks at different aspects of remote collaboration and innovative ways to simplify and support it.

IT could use a little relief

A study by S&P Global tells us that in the wake of the new prevalence of hybrid work and learning, IT spending is increasingly going toward remote work devices, space management technology and, most importantly for this discussion, audiovisual meeting room equipment. Indeed, 36% of the companies responding to the study say that getting the right technology in place for hybrid is a top challenge.

New challenges for IT

This new paradigm, and shift in spending, has affected the roles of many IT professionals. As workplace trends commentator Tyler Kern noted in a recent edition of the Simplifying Remote Collaboration podcast: “The pandemic really shifted job responsibilities for a lot of IT managers and IT departments to perform more AV tasks in meeting spaces.”

The result? On the same podcast, 20-year AV and IT tech veteran Dan Gundry tells us, “The challenges are real and the pressure and stress IT pros are under is incredible. They’re asking themselves how they can do all the new things they need to do with the same limited number of hours and resources available.”

The demands of meeting equity

An added layer of complexity for IT pros is the need to address the vital but relatively new concept of “meeting equity.” In short, it means that organizations need to provide a high-quality experience for everyone in a meeting – both in-room participants and remote participants. As Gundry says, “IT pros handling meeting room technology have to determine how they can make sure that everybody has the same meeting.”

How much are these new challenges affecting IT resources – people, time, expertise, budgets? In terms of hours diverted to new duties, a survey by the rAVe agency and Nureva asked IT pros how much of their department’s time is spent planning, deploying and managing conferencing solutions for remote team members or students. The results: Nearly 30% said it takes over 50% of their time.

All this happens at a time when the varied demands placed on IT teams have never been greater – from growing challenges with network security to the shift to cloud-based solutions and infrastructure that more easily adapt to the realities of hybrid. The breadth of knowledge – and number of hours – required to run a successful IT department never stops growing.

How much is too much?

How are IT pros reacting? The rAVe/Nureva survey asked IT pros about the impact of providing IT or AV services to accommodate hybrid. It affected the jobs of 89%, with 43.5% saying the new duties are making them busier than ever, with many saying, “it can be too much.”A frustrated IT specialist sits in front of several screens

With that in mind, how well is the technology that addresses hybrid serving IT – and users?

For smaller spaces like huddle rooms and small breakout rooms, the news is good. Plug and play audio and video conferencing systems that involve minimal IT intervention or user support are abundant.

But the story changes fairly dramatically when it comes to mid-size spaces, such as meeting rooms and classrooms, and large spaces, such as lecture halls and training rooms.

Here, legacy, in-ceiling pro AV technology is still seen by many organizations as the go-to solution. But installing and maintaining these systems often demands a high level of attention and effort from IT. The systems may require expert (and expensive) outside personnel such as design engineers, project managers, installation technicians and service workers. In terms of hardware, they can include myriad components such as mics, speakers, DSPs, amplifiers, switchers and more. Invasive installations and set up and tuning tasks can take valuable meeting space offline for a day or even days. And ongoing maintenance and management can require IT going room to room and using highly complicated software to make adjustments.

With supply chain issues causing difficulties in many sectors, another factor to consider is availability of parts and components. As pro AV systems are typically assembled using products from multiple suppliers, there is an increased risk of some portion of the required components not being available.

Complexity adds to IT pressure

Bottom line: the complexity of these systems can add to, rather than relieve, the pressures on IT. This takes them down the opposite path to the one that lets them be of the greatest value to their organizations.

Furthermore, as Dan Gundry says regarding IT’s new duties, “this is not the job they signed up for.”

But there’s good news about systems for larger spaces, too. Advances in technology are making it possible to get quality audio performance from a solution with the same plug and play simplicity as those used in smaller spaces.

Nureva is a leader in this advancement in technology. With Nureva® audio, one integrated microphone and speaker bar (two for larger spaces) provides the clear and reliable audio organizations needed for seamless collaboration between on-site and remote meeting participants. Each device hangs on the wall with two screws so installation can take as little as 30 minutes with no special expertise required. The systems autocalibrate continuously so there’s no need for manual fine tuning or adjustments. Advanced cloud-based management software means IT personnel can stay on top of their systems easily – from anywhere.

Supply chain risks are also mitigated with Nureva. A Nureva audio system contains only Nureva components so there is less chance of a delay caused by one (or many) suppliers for a multicomponent pro AV system not having stock available. In fact, while many other suppliers have been back-ordered during the past year (or more), Nureva has had product in stock and ready to ship.

Simplicity that saves time

The (other) bottom line: Relief is here. Intelligent collaboration products and solutions for larger spaces that require minimal effort from IT teams to deploy and manage at scale are giving them back the time they need to get on with the jobs that deliver more value – i.e., the jobs “they signed up for.”

And meeting equity? Nureva delivers true full-room mic pickup and advanced features like Intelligent Sound Targeting that limits the noise from fans and HVAC. Position-based gain control optimizes audio from each source, ensuring remote participants get clear, natural-sounding audio. That lets them feel like they’re in the room with their peers. “Everybody has the same meeting,” as Dan Gundry would say.

Get great audio, simplified

Traditional, pro AV audio conferencing for larger spaces can be complicated and costly. Learn how our groundbreaking technology delivers plug and play simplicity that lets IT help provide great audio to their teams with less effort – and fewer dollars.

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Topics: Hybrid work IT-friendly technology Simplifying Remote Collaboration