Workplace Video: A 2015 Rewind and a 2016 Fast Forward

Getting feedback from customers on their use of video in the workplace is always a valuable exercise. The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to review the state of play and offer a perspective on how this will change during 2016 and beyond.

Towards the end of 2015 Kaltura unveiled the findings of our most recent survey into the State of Video in the Enterprise. It offers some compelling insights into the value organizations place on video.

Some of the most interesting stats for me were those arising from what I call the 'human touch'. This is something I have mentioned before in this column: how video playback of a talking head stimulates the senses, helping to focus attention, enhance connections and improve engagement. It is in a different league to phone calls, emails or IM when it comes to corporate communications, both internally and externally.

Our survey corroborates this: 91% of respondents said that video makes executive communications more personal and relatable, while 96% said video helps train employees better and faster. Furthermore, 94% said it has a strong part to play in team bonding, helping to bring together geographically dispersed groups and foster a sense of belonging.

The most popular current use cases for video reinforce the 'human touch' benefits of video: training for customers, partners, and integrators (82%), workforce onboarding (80%), employee-generated content such as best practices, how-to tutorials (76%), executive communications (74%), and meetings (74%).

The survey also provides a trend over time, showing that video use is increasing from last year in nearly every use case; with 64% report watching more work-related video this year compared to last; while 66% of respondents are increasing budgets for video technologies year on year.

Until recently, video in the enterprise was simply a means to broadcast a message from the senior team to employees, clients, investors and partners. Yet today its use has exploded across every organization, reflecting a similar consumers upswing.

So what's coming next?

Employee-generated video content will become an important business tool within the next three years. Interestingly, a core of early adopters - just over a quarter of respondents (26%) - already spend between 30 minutes and 2 hours a month creating video content.

As a result, today's and tomorrow's employees will likely need to develop better skills in this area: 95% of respondents stated that video skills (creation, editing and communication) are important, with 83% stating that employers should encourage employees to improve their video communication skills.

Allied to this, we will see increased demand for more intuitive video capture tools: an overwhelming 76% of respondents cited easy-to-use tools for video capture as a key enabler of this democratization of video in the workplace.

Again mirroring consumer behavior, 84% of respondents believe that mobile devices will become the primary viewing device for enterprise video within three years. Interestingly, 38% of those questioned also expect mobile devices to become the primary device for video creation within this timeframe.

Another area that is set to mature this year and beyond is the focus on measuring video ROI. It was still very much a work in progress for many organizations in 2015 - almost half of respondents (42%) said that they relied on usage statistics, while 32% used surveys and feedback.

However, 22% of respondents reported that their organizations already rely on more sophisticated, outcome-related approaches to measuring video ROI, which bodes well for the future. As video becomes more entrenched in organizations, we will see organizations adopting a more multi-dimensional approach to measuring video ROI.

When asked to share their thoughts on what the future holds, comments were varied. For example, the CTO of an Irish retailer said: "Video is already used for online sales, but we see potential for merchandising in stores, and knowledge sharing."

The SVP of Learning and Leadership Development at a large US financial services company felt that: "Key performers and subject matter experts will have more unrestricted access to create content on behalf of the company to ensure anyone can find, learn and apply new skills, tips or tricks within their current role - or a role they are interested in."

And a senior IT analyst at a large Brazilian healthcare organization summed up his thinking on video in the workplace by predicting that: "It will be the main method of communication. It will replace voice-only calls."

As I take stock of my key learnings in 2015 and consider the key takeaways from our survey, I would like to add one prediction of my own. And that is that we will see video being incorporated into many more platforms during 2016. The way to achieve that easily would be to leverage mature cloud based video technology, such as Kaltura Video Platform as a Service offering (Kaltura VPaaS).

For a free copy of the Kaltura report, please click here.