Harnessing the explosive growth of video in enterprise

Sometimes video seems such a familiar, everyday tool that we forget it is only recently that we’ve seen such acceleration in the market. And, just like the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, as people started recording and watching video on their phones and home devices on a daily basis, they began expecting the same capabilities in the workplace too.

To determine what’s actually happening in the workplace, we undertook a survey to understand the extent of video use, what it is being used for and the implications for IT and other departments.

Employees already appreciate the richness and hyper-engaging nature of video and there is high demand to use it more in the workplace. In the words of one social business enterprise manager at a large insurance firm: “We will move away from static text and embrace video.”

But, just as many IT departments weren’t ready for employees wanting to use their own devices for work, our research revealed that many organisations’ IT systems have lagged behind in the support for video. As a result, there is a growing clamour for enterprise software to be ‘video ready’.

Because employees value video as an important tool in the workplace, 75 per cent of survey respondents -- which includes international CIOs, CMOs, IT directors and other line of business executives -- want to be able to easily incorporate video features and workflows into existing enterprise tools and applications, ranging from email and learning management to marketing automation.

At the high end, those organisations where video has been expertly deployed say that employees are already watching an average of more than 30 hours each month.

The parallels with the BYOD trend continue as we see evidence that the power is shifting from the IT department into the hands of users. Not so long ago, nearly all video was created centrally in large organisations. But now a typical employee generates almost three hours of video per month. Indeed some organisations estimate that employees generate more than 20 hours video a month.

While content varies widely from professionally-produced marketing and brand promotion clips to employee-generated content, the most prominent uses are still external: marketing and brand promotion videos, product and product marketing videos, and training of customers, partners and integrators.

Our research indicates that 60 per cent of companies surveyed use video for executive communications and 67 per cent use video for events coverage. Meanwhile, at 60 per cent of organisations surveyed employee-generated video is used for sharing best practices and how-to tutorials, while 66 per cent use video for meetings. Interestingly, the use of video is now also emerging in the areas of help desk/customer service as a way of enhancing customer service, and in recruitment, for example for video interviews and video CVs (37 per cent and 35 per cent of respondents respectively).

The fact remains that with video becoming a dominant way of communication, it is a required and essential skill for employees. Indeed one Director of Digital Media Technology said: “Video will be considered a core competency, just like PowerPoint or Excel”.

On-demand video is still the most widespread form used, but live video has a significant presence too, particularly to connect employees, celebrating corporate culture and boosting employee creativity.

To harness the power of video, businesses are increasingly turning to standalone enterprise video portals (an 'internal YouTube' or ‘CorporateTube’), with 70 per cent of respondents believing that a centralised location for all videos, which would facilitate video search and management, would avoid the curse of video silos.

When asked about what the future holds for video, respondents were very positive, as evidenced by the following three comments:
“I see video creation and consumption growing in all areas of business. The tools for creation of videos are becoming more cost-effective, so organizations need to provide a vehicle for the creators to share their videos,” - Media Services Manager at a manufacturing organisation.

“Seamless! (Video will be) built into social activities/tools as a norm. Streaming content will be the norm with minimal bandwidth constraints on the corporate networks,” - Engineer at a manufacturing organisation.

“I see it as one of the most powerful positive forces in large, international organisations, where currently the lack of interpersonal engagement between employees - especially within organic teams that are remote from one another - is harming collaboration. This is due to them not seeing one another and therefore not fostering trust or building those dynamics that breed relationships which are an important foundation for collaboration,” - Co-Founder of a training and consulting organisation.

In summary, this survey indicates that video will become pervasive within enterprises over the next few years. More organisations will follow the lead of today’s video-engaged organisations and reap the rewards of enhancing existing text-based experiences and creating new video-based work experiences.

Note: The survey covered some 300 enterprise respondents from around 300 firms and was undertaken during February/March 2014. Respondents were drawn from various roles within the organization including IT, marketing, sales, operations, services, training, and R&D.

By Russ Zack, Vice President and General Manager, Kaltura EMEA. You can follow him on Twitter @RussZack For a copy of the report, please click here.