How AV and IT are converging

Steve Kilroy, UK sales manager for iiyama International discusses how the growing collision of IT and AV is affecting the UK displays market.

Much has been written about the convergence of the AV and IT markets. It’s true that this coming together is particularly evident within the corporate sector, as the traditional corporate demands on IT business working practices become more important to AV businesses. 

Many corporate-facing integrated AV solutions now require support from IT, mainly due to an increasing number of video conferencing systems being integrated into IP-based platforms as part of mainstream IT networks. 

At the same time, the growth in the digital signage and display market has meant that more AV tech is being entwined in IT networks. Finally, the big IT and telecoms vendors are expanding their offerings to include meeting space demands, further bringing AV and IT together.

As AV adopts more IT habits and IT finds itself working closer with AV products and projects, the traditional lines of demarcation are likely to blur until they are no longer visible.

Traditional priorities 

We at iiyama consider the AV and IT market to already be one and the same. We don’t really distinguish – the traditional market for consumer desktop PC sales tends to be an AV-free zone, of course. That said, we do tend to prioritise IT organisations. 

With both sectors working in unison, the display market as a whole is a lot easier for us. We take feedback from both channels to make our products better for the future. 

Interestingly, the display market is currently fairly static for anything under 32 inches, while there’s good growth for bigger screens – the traditional feeding ground of the AV integrator. Large format displays (LFDs) are definitely where the market is most ripe, whether you consider yourself an IT or AV integrator. 

But most of our success is via the mainstream IT channels. What they have that the AV channel doesn’t is a newness and drive towards AV solutions, and a realisation that they can deliver these solutions, install them and have the knowledge in house. We’re starting to see some doing more around AV solutions, bringing in AV teams to help spec-up as they recognise that it is very much a growing market.

“Large format displays (LFDs) are definitely where the market is most ripe.” 
Steve Kilroy, iiyama

Procedural mindsets 

Scalability and reliability are crucial to companies, with IT departments within corporates preferring standardised solutions that they trust will work. This continues to be the case as IT and AV converge, but it is one area where the AV sector sometimes comes unstuck, with AV integrators more used to installing unique, one-off systems struggling to adopt IT-esque mindsets. 

Most of our business is generated via the IT channel. However, it’s clear that AV needs to get more IT-savvy if it is to reap the benefits of more audio-video technology adoption.

Steve Kilroy is the UK sales manager for iiyama International

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