Streaming video is usually ushered into the enterprise by the departments responsible for large-scale communications—marketing and communications, learning and development, human resources and compliance, etc. With cloud-based streaming services readily available on a subscription basis, the need to include IT in purchasing decisions is not always obvious. Until…the first major broadcast occurs and employees report widescale viewing problems. Or worse yet, critical business applications are negatively impacted by congestion on the network.
Video impacts the corporate network
Despite its inherent value to business communications, the growing use of video inside the enterprise presents a new set of challenges for IT departments. Video transfer is bandwidth intensive, and the higher the quality (HD and Ultra-HD) or the more interactive (augmented reality and 360°) the more bandwidth it consumes. Most corporate networks struggle to handle heavy volumes of video traffic coming from the cloud over the corporate internet connection and the bandwidth consumption of video traversing far-reaching corners of the network.
Who is watching out for the network?
In their latest enterprise streaming survey, Wainhouse Research probed into factors influencing streaming purchasing decisions. The findings reinforce what we expect. IT departments show the greatest concern for monitoring the network as a very important issue, while the functional departments driving the use of video show less concern for the network as a key purchasing criterion. While the findings are appropriate given the roles of the individuals, the problem arises when IT is not brought into the purchasing decision early enough to ensure network delivery infrastructure is a part of the overall solution.
Common enterprise streaming infrastructure
To mitigate network congestion without inhibiting the use of video, IT departments deploy enterprise content delivery networks (eCDN), network infrastructure that optimizes the distribution of video behind the firewall. eCDNs intelligently route the flow of video traffic around the network to improve performance and minimize congestion. As a result, audiences enjoy less latency and buffering, faster video start times and an overall higher quality, more reliable viewing experience.
The good news for IT departments and business communicators alike is that eCDNs do not have to be deployed 1-to-1 with enterprise streaming platforms. As we discussed in our recent blog, The Consolidation Conundrum, more than 70% of enterprises use multiple streaming platforms to serve the full needs of the enterprise. Some eCDN solutions are proprietary and only support a single streaming platform. But when companies choose to deploy common enterprise streaming infrastructure (CESI), they can reliability distribute video from any and all platforms they use, today and in the future, using the same infrastructure solution.