The consumption of video on mobile devices for work-related purposes is on the rise, according to Gartner, bringing organizations under increasing pressure to support and manage it. Gartner predicts that by 2015, at least 60 percent of information workers will interact with content applications via a mobile device.
“Developing and supporting new content management applications and uses is a daunting task for enterprises, which justifiably fear dissatisfaction and low adoption,” said Whit Andrews, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “But the growing use of mobile devices for work demands that they support video on such equipment for internal and external uses. The challenge is more than just mobility. It also concerns heterogeneity, as Gartner predicts that, by 2014, 90 percent of organizations will support corporate applications on a variety of personal devices, from conventional laptop PCs, media tablets and mobile phones to hybrid or other kinds of devices that have yet to be made widely available.”
Gartner says that companies and governments must respond with strategies for supporting video on such equipment, whether it is owned by them or by their workers or customers.
“Engaging mobile workers means encouraging them to use the devices they have chosen,” said Mr. Andrews. “However, by the end of 2016, we expect 50 percent of content and collaboration initiatives will fail because of low levels of engagement with the information workers directly affected by them. There will be many aspects to this, including a failure to respect the importance of preferred devices for business consumers. Even though mobile devices represent an inconvenient way to deliver video in many respects, they must be part of any enterprise video strategy.”
Mobility means that business consumers may sometimes find themselves using different devices in different places, sometimes on weak networks. Enterprises must therefore plan for adaptive delivery that allows for variable bandwidth as well as allowing for time-shifted consumption, as users that rely on mobile devices will not always have sufficient access to network resources to consume video live.
Time-shifting video is an important benefit that many executives resist because they dislike the psychological dilution that arises when not all workers share the experience of watching a video together. Nevertheless, consumption of a given video stream increases significantly when its targets can choose their own time to consume the video, and that consumption rises even more when they can consume individual shorter segments with particular messages that are crisp and concise.
Gartner recommends selecting vendors that support all the video formats the organization requires. While it’s true that the growth in OS centers on iOS and Android, other OSs are important to particular enterprises or viewer segments. Enterprises should analyze viewership to determine what devices consumers are using, which are growing in usage, and which are declining.
“Enterprises have mainly relied on their enterprise video content management vendors to supply reliable facilities for managing video content in a way that results in interoperability,” said Mr. Andrews. “Large-scale transcoding is beyond most companies and governments without vendor support, and we expect to see more adoption of cloud transcoding to accommodate scale. Use of a video player alleviates some challenges, but players are not popular in all situations for architectural reasons. Nor are standards to be expected to solve everything for a majority of users in the short term.”