Videoconferencing: Changing Face of Communication
How videoconferencing technology is changing how we communicate
Communication across long distances is now easier and faster than ever with videoconferencing technology. Businesses are able to communicate with partners and clients on the other side of the world. People who live in rural America are able to receive medical consultations without driving several hours to see their doctors. Students at schools and universities are able to receive instruction from the best teachers in their field and interact with other cultures through distance learning, even from across the globe.
As cell phones and the Internet have become an essential part of our life, making communication more convenient, videoconferencing has further improved communication effectiveness and efficiency.
On a personal level, videoconferencing technology on platforms such as Skype, FaceTime, G+ and even Facebook Chat allow individuals to connect with their friends and family across long distances — free of cost. The application of videoconferencing for families is more meaningful during the holiday season when families are separated, and for our country’s military servicemen and women who are serving overseas, millions of miles from their loved ones.
For businesses, videoconferencing technology improves effectiveness. The ability to meet with employees and even customers face-to-face provides a personal touch to the relationship that would otherwise only be possible by forking over hundreds or even thousands of dollars to travel. The growth of videoconferencing adoption across the business sector stems from one of five main factors, according to experts on a panel at the 2010 ITEXPO. These factors are:
- Reduce travel – 43 percent of US businesses use videoconferencing to reduce travel expenses.
- Faster time to market – 19 percent of US businesses utilize videoconferencing for this reason.
- Improve productivity – 16 percent of US businesses use videoconferencing to improve productivity.
- Remote training – 16 percent of US businesses utilize the technology to improve training and education for employees.
- “Go Green” – 6 percent of businesses use videoconferencing as a means to reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.
(These statistics were released in 2010, numbers are expected to be slightly higher today.)
Government agencies are able to respond quickly and more effectively than ever before in emergency or security threat situations. In the event of a terrorist threat, for example, state governments are able to hold security briefings with the Federal Department of Homeland Security, with videoconferencing technology.
During the same panel at the 2010 ITEXPO, experts predicted that as many as 73 percent of all business in the United States will utilize videoconferencing technology in some manner by the year 2013. An estimated 71 percent of businesses of all sizes across the world are expected to be utilizing videoconferencing technology for business practices by 2013.
These numbers are not restricted to one method of videoconferencing technology. Roll-away units such as mobile videoconferencing carts are the most frequently used — in 2010, 43 percent of businesses using videoconferencing were using a roll-away videoconferencing application. Twenty-one percent utilized desktop videoconferencing; 18 percent prefer a dedicated videoconference room; 10 percent were using a Telepresence suite and 8 percent utilized videoconferencing technology on their smartphones, though this number has likely grown significantly over the last two years as mobile technology has significantly improved.
There is truly no limit to the applications and benefits of videoconferencing for professional and business use. As videoconferencing technology becomes more ubiquitous and easier to use, adoption of the technology will continue to grow, both in the US and around the world.
Do you utilize videoconferencing for personal or business use? What applications have you found to be most beneficial? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!