People see the streaming of video growing, not just in their personal lives, but in their professional lives as well. Video has amazing benefits for business. Yet it comes with a price—video can also take a huge amount of storage and bandwidth to handle. For many businesses, it is not clear how much space is already being used or left on the office network. The cost and technical considerations for this growth are often unknown to IT and the business manager stakeholders.
So it’s increasingly important to ask some key questions about video’s impact on the network. If network traffic doubled today, would your network be able to handle it? Are you accounting for the growth in mobile devices within the office?
Key Video Trends to Watch
The challenge is only going to get bigger. Cisco recently noted some important growth trends for network administrators to consider:
“Globally, IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015.”
But what about business internet traffic specifically?
Cisco projects the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2015 and 2020 for:
- Business Internet traffic to be 18% (all business traffic that crosses the public Internet)
- Business managed IP traffic is 6% (all business traffic that is transported over IP but remains within the corporate WAN
- Business mobile data traffic is 47% (all business traffic that crosses a mobile access point
The Impact of Video on Networks – and What Offices Are Doing About It
A lot of enterprises are responding to this growth in a reactive manner by blocking sites that stream. These enterprises are blocking the streaming of video (at the route switch firewall level) altogether in the office.
But not all video is entertainment like sports and kitten content. Not all video is your staff wasting time with comedy and sports updates. Blocking websites that stream video, like Vimeo and YouTube, is the wrong approach. While it may make sense in some cases, it is not a strategy for video in the enterprise. Both public facing videos sites have valuable learning content and can be used for work related research depending on the circumstance.
But if video streaming is to be valued and controlled by the company for employees when at the office, an enablement approach should be taken, rather than restrictive reactions to these trends.
Why Allow Video at All?
Video streamed today in the enterprise is mission critical: it’s being used for training, collaborating, and corporate communications. Some popular examples include:
- Professional development and training materials
- Enterprise video content (some created by the employees themselves) relating to company culture that improves morale, team-bonding, and productivity
- Webcast and live streams for management to deliver core messages across to the whole organization
The best response to these growing trends and use cases is to empower employees to engage with video within the enterprise. The best response it to enable employees to stream approved content on the devices they choose.
The Future of Video for Business
Video is just as valuable as a medium as an internal memo. Where faxes evolved into emails, we now have digital video. This is the natural progression of technology and communication tools.
Stated perfectly by a Training & Learning employee of a large North American data storage company who said in our recent ‘The State of Video in the Enterprise’ report:
“Video is the new document. Employees will create videos at will, just as they make PowerPoints now. Ubiquitous and multi-leveled; some spontaneous; some very highly planned and produced. Definitely a primary part of LMS, and video viewership tracked closely by management.”
How eCDNs Help Meet the Challenges
Enterprises need to embrace this and structure themselves for the growth. The growth of heavy file types like video has potentially huge network implications.
The best way to meet these challenges without unpredictable budgeting and capital expenditures is to consider an ‘enterprise content delivery network (eCDN).
Taking away the jargon this is a method for ‘onsite office streaming’ or ‘behind the firewall video delivery’ (i.e., eCDN). This type of setup allows the enterprise to stream video in local offices without clogging the network. Keeping the valuable video assets local to the internal LAN. This includes any mobile devices on-site that are connected to the office’s LAN.
Live streams of events, including webcasts, can be broadcast across the network, to any device, including mobile.
Imagine employees being able to watch training videos on their Android and iPhones, as well as iPads, at the office, without impacting the WiFi connection for the overall office.
Picture them recording training videos and giving feedback with webcams on their desktops, then publishing to internal ‘CorporateTubes‘ so that their colleagues can watch the videos tied to the project at hand. Envision a quarterly town hall webcast, with updates from the CxOs, talking to all employees across all offices, streaming smoothly, to all devices in which they choose to connect.
So much value can be derived from leveraging multimedia that, rather than blocking it, Enterprises should embrace and regulate it to meet their needs.
Start with a private online video platform (i.e., a central repository), a private CorporateTube video portal, and application (i.e., SharePoint and Blackboard) integrations, all tied to the company’s SSO, and then you have a secure way to host and deliver video across the enterprise to all employees. This is safe, secure, and provides network admins the control they crave: permissioning and analytics.
What’s Coming Next?
Kaltura’s annual survey, ‘The State of Video in the Enterprise,’ the largest of its kind, shows YOY growth trends.
2016’s report found that:
- 79% of respondents watch more than 30 minutes video per month
- 8% of respondents watch over 20 hours of video per month
- 63% report watching more work-related video this year compared to last;
- 45% report creating more work-related video this year compared to last;
- 59% of respondents are incorporating video in their company Intranet today
- 42% of respondents are incorporating video in both their Social Business Platforms and Enterprise LMS
- 50% report an increased budget allocation for video technologies in their organization year on year.
This is the future your network is facing. What would happen if each employee in your office watched 2 hours of video this month? Can your network handle a live webcast to all employees within your office?
These are but a few questions to consider when putting together a strategy for an online video streaming platform and enterprise content delivery network in today’s office environment.