“11 Ways the Integration Business Will Change This Decade” is a wide-ranging analysis by NSCA board members of the future of integration, originally published in the special Pivot to Profit+ section of the Q3 2021 edition of our quarterly trade journal, Integrate. This column discusses the slow evolution of as-a-service in the integration market.
Over the next decade, AV as a service will dominate the traditional installation market. How many integration companies will be prepared to compete?
Over the next 10 years, the AV business will transform from the traditional sale of hardware and installed solutions to AV as a service (AVaaS) as the dominant force in the market. Integrators will learn to build and develop a true services-based model that incorporates hardware, installation, and professional services. While not a new concept, it’s one that is ready to mature and is a necessary step forward in the continued evolution of integrators and the industry as a whole.
Remember when all we would talk about was the convergence of AV and IT? For years, it was all the rage to talk about how the two fields were becoming one and prognosticate about what the future would hold.
Over a relatively short period of time (years vs. decades), convergence happened. It wasn’t just a trend; it was the future back then—and is our present now. In the years since those convergence conversations, AV integrators that were early adopters of learning and incorporating IT into their practices have fared the best over time. They’ve grown faster and larger than peers that caught on late. Conversely, those that were reluctant to get on board (or fight the trend) haven’t performed as well over that same period, with many no longer in business. Let this serve as a lesson.
We talked and talked and talked about convergence. We did that because it was important for our industry and the businesses that make it great. The same holds true today for AV as a service. It’s not just a trend or some crazy, unachievable dream. It’s what our partners and peers in IT figured out years ago. It’s how they run their organizations, it’s what they expect for their environments, and it’s undeniably what AV is destined to become.
You Can Still Watch NSCA’s 2021 Pivot to Profit Sessions. Click here to get started.
Video communication, remote collaboration, and the generalized use of technology in everyday work and learning are now the standard expectation for all environments. Some may say it took a global pandemic to cement that position, but, regardless of how it came to be, that’s the world we’re working in today—and as far into the future as anyone can see.
AV as a service is the continued evolution of our industry and the future of how integrators will work.
There has never been a clearer need to define what that means for your organization and how you will deliver to your customers. Learn from our recent past. Invest time in your business to develop this practice now and have a bright future. Or don’t—just don’t be surprised when you get left behind.
Tim Hennen is CEO of Digital Labor Solutions and an NSCA board member.