Among the under-30 crowd, video sharing is pervasive. Services like Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Snapchat easily allow individuals to make their own videos and share them with friends. But most companies lack these same capabilities for business collaboration, either internally or externally with business partners. That's rapidly changing.
The Nemertes 2014-15 Enterprise Technology benchmark, based on data gathered from more than 200 end-user organizations, found that more than half (54%) of companies already have an enterprise platform for video capture and streaming. Another 18% are either evaluating products or services, or are planning a deployment by 2015; just under 29% have no plans. So, problem solved, right? Not exactly.
Video sharing use cases in the workplace
When we dug into use cases for video content management and streaming platforms, we found that the overwhelming majority, nearly 67%, are primarily using them for distance learning, allowing employees to access a library of video-on-demand content regardless of location. The second-biggest driver (7%) is recording video conferences for future playback. While both use cases are valuable, neither allows users to easily create their own videos and share them as they can with public services like Instagram. Just a handful of companies are enabling support for such capabilities.
Govern your video policy
What happens if IT doesn't deliver a streaming video platform of its own? Employees will simply attach their videos to emails or upload them to file servers, clogging up storage resources. In the worst-case scenario, much like we saw with instant messaging and are currently seeing with mobile document sharing, workers will simply bypass corporate IT and use consumer services outside of IT's control. Circumventing IT creates security and governance headaches as companies lose control of content, and consumer applications make it next to impossible for personnel to search for relevant video content.
Either of these scenarios has the potential to add to network congestion woes, especially at remote sites or across maxed-out Internet connections. Neither allows for IT governance, which includes retention, classification and encryption policies. Just 26% of benchmark participants have a policy in place to govern recorded video, while 11% plan to have one by the end of 2014. The remaining 63% are either evaluating potential policies or haven't even started to look at video content management requirements.
Prepare your network for video sharing
So, what's an enterprise IT planner to do? Fortunately a slew of companies exist that provide enterprise-grade video content management capabilities. These include Brightcove, Ignite, Kaltura, Kontiki, Qumu, and VBrick as well as video conferencing vendors like Cisco, Lifesize and Polycom.
Key differentiators among the vendors include:
- the distribution architecture (e.g., peer-to-peer multicast, distributed appliance or network multicast),
- support for cloud storage,
- support for popular desktop and mobile operating systems,
- the ability to integrate with existing video conferencing platforms,
- the ability to integrate with learning management systems,
- the ability to integrate with enterprise search platforms,
- the ability to transcribe audio tracks to enable individuals to quickly scan video content and jump to a desired point, and
- social capabilities that enable users to comment on or share video, or even find relevant video.
IT leaders should take a proactive approach toward user-generated video management and distribution. Create a checklist of the features that are most important to you and use it as a guide to evaluate the solutions providers that are out there today. Remember that if you don't provide the ability to share video, your users will find it elsewhere.
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Irwin Lazar asks:
Do you allow your employees to use consumer video applications on your corporate network?
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