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Ed Tech Voice: Supply Issues Impact Availability of AV Devices

Although schools’ IT budgets remain stable, planned expenditures on new AV devices may be compromised by supply issues.  A new round of research from Futuresource Consulting shows that this is the number one challenge facing schools seeking to adopt AV devices in 2022.  The previous year, this did not even factor into the top 15 obstacles. 

Availability of Devices Falls 

The gravity of the problem is abundant.  12% of respondents quizzed in Futuresource’s latest round of research stated that supply issues were the biggest obstacle to adopting AV devices.  Even if schools are ambitious to invest in new devices, they may be left wanting due to suppliers’ inability to fulfil procurement needs. 

The poor availability of existing devices exaggerates the problem with the supply of new devices. The availability of AV devices in schools has declined, a tell-tale indicator of the ongoing disruptions.  In 2021, on average, Futuresource found that 85% of AV devices were operational less than 50% of the time.  In 2022, this number had grown to 88%.  

Outlook on Prices Remains Positive 

Although schools face problems filling the gaps left by faulty devices, some distinct positives are discernible from this latest round of research.  Respondents were confident that the average price of AV devices would remain stable over the next two years.  A marked improvement from last year’s outlook – and particularly impressive given global inflation.  In 2021, 38% of schools thought the cost of an interactive whiteboard would increase; this year, only 23% expected an increase.   

Significant funding from the CARES and American Rescue Plan Acts has led to increased school funding directed to technology to help make up for the impact of Covid-19. Although supply issues may hamper the availability of devices, schools will still seek to invest in AV devices going forwards.  Overall, AV budget allocations have grown.  The average funding in 2021/22 is $156k per school, compared to $152k in 2020/21 – which is undoubtedly a win for AV vendors. 

Free EdTech Voice Infographic 

Our free downloadable infographic provides precise statistics and market data on the use of AV devices within learning.  Aiming to give a helpful overview of the prospective developments for AV within Ed Tech, you can download your free copy of our Ed Tech Voice infographic here.  

Date Published:

Chris Pennell

About the author

Chris Pennell

Chris Pennell is a Principal Analyst for Futuresource Consulting, leading Futuresource’s research across the Connectivity and Services practice. His research focuses on emerging technologies transforming enterprises' use of AV solutions.

Chris's recent research covers areas such as the shift to IP-connected devices, the use of managed and cloud-based services, and the impact of Pro AV solutions on the Future of Work. Working with various vendors and end users has enabled Chris to explore and build knowledge of the innovative ways enterprises use AV technologies to address ongoing challenges. Outside work, Chris is happiest helping raise his young family and supporting his local Scout troop.

Olivia Lowden

About the author

Olivia Lowden

Olivia Lowden is responsible for the long-form content, press, and partnerships at Futuresource. Prior to her career at Futuresource, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, demonstrative of her lifelong love of words.

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