Most workers don't have desktop video and don't want it, report says

Desktop video most used by executives, according to Forrester

Despite the popularity of consumer desktop video like Skype and FaceTime, information workers in North America and Europe have little interest in using the technology on the job, according to Forrester Research.

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Of more than 5,400 businesspeople surveyed, 72% don't want desktop video, and even if they did, they don't have much access to it, says a new Forrester report called "Information Workers Are Not Quite Ready for Desktop Videoconferencing". The rest either already use it or would like to, the report says.

Addressing desktop video specifically, 30% of businesses have implemented it, with another 19% saying they have plans to do so. But of the businesses that do have the technology, only 15% of the workers say they have access to it. "This suggests that business implementations start with small segments in organizations," the report says.

Top-level executives - CEOs, directors, presidents, vice presidents - are the most likely to use desktop video, with 31% to 42% of workers holding those titles using it, Forrester says.

The top three uses are routine internal communications (51%), executive meetings (41%), and distance learning and training (33%). Customer meetings, brainstorming sessions and partner meetings each garner 30% of usage, according to the report.

The 13% who don't have desktop video but want it say they would use it for routine internal communications (61%), distance learning and training (44%), brainstorming (43%) and better connection with remote workers (35%).

Better connecting with remote workers ranks No. 7 on the list of actual uses by those who already have the technology, Forrester says. "However, this may be more indicative of the limited distribution of the technology and not its effectiveness in this scenario," the report says.

Barriers to adopting desktop video include concern about overloading networks and needing significant upgrades. "We don't see this as being a unique situation," Forrester says, "it's something many firms will grapple with as they design their videoconferencing strategy. "

Management buy-in and encouragement of desktop video use if deemed productive is key to moving reluctant workers to adopt it, the report says. The overriding rule should be easing the technology in so infrastructure and employees can be prepared.

Learn more about this topic

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Extending Video Conferencing to the Desktop

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