Video conferencing: a business-critical tool

The pandemic forced businesses everywhere to massively accelerate their digital transformation to get people working from home. A year-and-a-half later, we’re entering the world of hybrid working – we’re more dependent on video than ever. That means IT teams have to treat video collaboration just like any other business-critical tool and ensure it works every time, no exceptions.

August 12, 2021

A recent survey into IT leaders in Europe found 76% of the respondents have re-evaluated their IT priorities from before the pandemic. Previously, digital transformation was the number one strategic imperative for large corporations, although progress was typically slow. Most businesses needed most employees to be in the office most of the time. Video conferencing downtime, while inconvenient, wasn’t a disaster because most meetings took place in person anyway.

But when the pandemic began, businesses which didn’t have good digital tools in place suffered significantly, while their digitally-literate competitors prospered. Digital transformation accelerated across the business world, warp factor 10. It had to – it was the only way to keep operations going.

A big part of this digital transformation effort was getting staff working productively from home. The IT industry responded quickly, helping clients get up and running with remote working. For many video conferencing providers, this included introducing free versions of their products to help businesses collaborate instantly and help keep services running. Here at StarLeaf, we helped one NHS trust support over 10,000 users moving from the office to home working almost overnight.

Today, we’ve all come to depend on collaboration software. Business meetings are hardly ever 100% in person – they either feature a few people gathered in an office or meeting room and a few people joining virtually, or everyone calling in from wherever it is they’re working.

And with so much day-to-day business happening virtually, it’s essential that your video platform works. It must be available 24/7. Now that we depend on video collaboration, any downtime represents a serious productivity hit.

So that means CIOs must deliver robust and sophisticated video conferencing infrastructures that are reliable. To ensure video collaboration is there when you need it, IT teams can use continuity tactics learned from ensuring availability for other tools: built-in redundancy, sophisticated backup and recovery processes, and failover from one system to another.

Forward-thinking CIOs are placing support for hybrid working models in the center of their IT design and are now recognizing the need for the same robustness and redundancy that they have with their core systems, be applied to their collaboration infrastructure. To reap the benefits of flexible and remote working, we have to accept, or even better mitigate, the risks of remote collaboration outages.

Video conferencing is a core strand of a hybrid working model. It’s crucial that video collaboration is treated the same as any other business-critical system.

Ensure your video conferencing is there when you need it with StarLeaf Standby, the enterprise communications failover service for business continuity and incident response.

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David Gingell, CMO
David Gingell, CMO