Five Takeaways from the AV/IT Leadership Summit

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In our quest for clarity in the ever-evolving tech landscape, we created the AV/IT Leadership Summit for key stakeholders in IT and AV departments across commercial verticals. Based on data from reader surveys, we crafted a curriculum exploring some of the most important issues facing tech managers today. We were grateful to welcome more than 90 attendees with deep investments in standards as AV and IT continue to merge. Here are five takeaways from our Summit which commenced last week in New York City.

1. CIOs who truly understand AV are a rare and wonderful breed. Exhibit A: Terry Vahey, CIO of San Jose State University. Not only does Terry truly "get" IT and AV, she understands the complex and complementary relationships between applications. We were so grateful for her refreshing and galvanizing keynote address. We hope that her insight inspires executive alignment and collaboration strategies in your organization.

2. When there is no dedicated budget or staff for live video streaming, there are still ways to make the magic happen and offer a valuable, meaningful user experience. Just ask the AV team at American University in Washington, DC. This group is pushing out multiple live streams per week to thousands of users on a limited budget.

3. Who owns what is a question keeping everyone up at night. In an integrated, holistic building system, if the audio, HVAC, paging, and/or any other data path goes down, it could be a hot ticket item for IT, AV, facilities staff, or none of those! Even in a smart building system, it is critical to have transparency of media asset ownership.

4. The AV/IT conversion raises new legal questions. With networked media vulnerability, tech managers are navigating organizational responsibilities and liabilities (e.g., how to protect the distribution of confidential info such as a streamed boardroom meeting or financial earnings report). For some, this means outsourcing tasks such as video streaming.

5. We're all in this together! What we learned from our esteemed attendees at the Summit was that whatever your proficiency level is in AV or IT, the merging of technologies requires a new level of openness, knowledge-sharing, and best practices.

In addition to panel discussions, Q&As, and boardroom presentations, our next Summit will include smaller working groups to address specific AV/IT problems. We sincerely thank our charter sponsors—Biamp, Harman, Christie, Crestron, Kramer, Matrox, The Sextant Group, Casio, FSR, Oblong, and Planar—for bringing this event to fruition. Stay tuned for info on our next event, and thanks for being part of this exciting community.

Margot Douaihy is the editorial director of AV Technology magazine.

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