IT goes with AV like PB&J

Note: This blog is a continuation of the ideas discussed in a recent IT/AV podcast.

After lots of talk, the AV/IT convergence is well underway. AV is no longer its own specialized department but is part of the global information technology services that the IT department provides for end-users. While still in this transitionary period, IT managers face numerous AV challenges.

Common AV Issues for IT Professionals

Technology from 20 years ago was more difficult to use than the technology we have now. Having an AV technician on staff was nearly mandatory if you wanted to keep your technology up and running. So why are we still having issues with technology in 2017? It ultimately comes down to the users. Training for end-users is not always included in a technology budget, so when the system gets installed, the end-user is forced to figure out how to use it without proper training. The IT staff that is responsible for maintenance of the system needs to know how it operates. They then have to take that information and pass it along to the staff, faculty, teachers, and any other end-users. If users are educated on how to operate their system, new technology adoption will be easier in a school or corporate environment.

Video is now commonplace in education and corporate environments. Getting people to use video is hard if they are not used to it. Managing the network traffic is also a major concern IT faces daily. Networks have so much data and content that is being shared that IT must be aware of keeping the information traffic moving without slowing down the system. Video streaming and other technologies continue to burden the system.

Training End-Users

There never seems to be enough training when it comes to technology. However, some people are able to learn new technology easier than others. Millennials have grown up with technology from an early age and are comfortable with it. They are used to texting and software-based video conferencing to keep in contact with friends and family. They adapt quickly to new technology uses.

Generation Xers are used to using technology to be productive. They may not have had it their whole lives like the Millennials, but with proper training, they understand how to use technology to their advantage.

Baby Boomers can be the most difficult to train. However, many Boomers embrace new technology and are often the first to want to experiment with technology. Many professors and instructors that fall into this age bracket hold their blackboards and chalk near and dear. Understanding how they work and what they need to accomplish will help the trainer provide them the correct AV training they need to be successful.

IT departments can’t assume that end-users know how the product works or what it can do. It takes time to explain how a system works. Companies can more easily meet their technology goals when everyone has the information they need.

Want to learn more about how AV and IT operate together in an educational environment? Listen to IT/AV Episode 1: Technology in their DNA.

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