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Covid Still Number One Challenge for AV Professionals Four Years On

Nearly half of enterprises surveyed said AV tech installed during the Covid-19 pandemic still needs to be ripped out and replaced in 2024.

Four years on from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, new research reveals that addressing backlogs and unresolved issues from Covid-19 is the top challenge facing enterprises in 2024, with a third (29%) of AV professionals agreeing.

Kinly's new Trusted Connections 2024 research revealed that 41% of respondents need to completely replace the tech installed during lockdown. That’s an increase from the near quarter (23%) who reported the same issue in 2023’s survey.

But Covid installations aren’t the only tech causing problems for enterprises. Nearly half of the 425 enterprise AV professionals working in the UK, Germany, Nordics, and the Netherlands surveyed (46%) are actually set to remove and replace outdated AV technology that was installed prior to the pandemic. This indicates a substantial shift towards modernising AV infrastructure to meet the evolving demands of the modern-day workplace.

In line with the wave of modernisation, investments are being strategically directed towards the renewal of old technology, with priorities including network infrastructure (42%), remote support (35%), and unified communications and collaboration software (33%).

However, despite the desire for a hard reset, the realities of AV budgets don’t necessarily align. In fact, close to half of respondents (49%) have had their AV budgets reduced in 2024, and three fifths (62%) are tasked with achieving more with less.

Despite these challenges, AV is still recognised as a key asset to enterprises. Two thirds (66%) of AV teams now have an established AV plan in place for any future pandemics to avoid repeating the mistakes of 2020. Additionally, three quarters (75%) of respondents reported they have a clearly defined workplace communications strategy for this year.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Martin, CEO, Kinly, said:

“Our Trusted Connections 2024 report highlights not just the lingering challenges from the pandemic, but also the resilience and adaptability of the AV industry. The need to overhaul and update the technology infrastructure installed during the pandemic — even in the face of budget constraints — reflects enterprises’ determination to prioritise modernisation and demonstrates a deep commitment to future-proofing our workplaces.

“But of course, there is a balance to be struck. When talking about futureproofing and embracing new innovations, we have to address the elephant in the room: sustainability. That’s why it’s essential that we integrate principles of the circular economy when disposing of old technology, ensuring our advancements contribute not just to technological progress, but to environmental stewardship. This holistic approach facilitates us to foster the robust, scalable and adaptable technology we need, without sacrificing the planet.

“The hard reset approach to AV technology highlights that ultimately, we can’t move forward unless the issues of the past are resolved. The lessons learned during Covid-19 have underscored the importance of flexibility and the need for robust, scalable AV solutions that can adapt to any challenge."

Find out more about the new Trusted Connections 2024 research and download your copy here.

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