Video conferencing continues to take hold across the globe, with a new report from Futuresource Consulting revealing 21% volume growth in hardware last year, to achieve 3.3 million units. The specialist research firm also reports a 15% year-on-year increase in market value for 2021, with total global revenues reaching $5.6 billion.
“These figures look magnificent, yet we were expecting even more from the market,” says Alistair Johnston, Head of Collaboration, Futuresource Consulting. “Many businesses originally hoped that remote and hybrid work would be a temporary measure, though in 2021 it started to become a long-term reality for thousands upon thousands of enterprises.
“As a result, solutions have emerged that are much more cost-effective, and these have risen in popularity faster than the high-ticket items. We saw 2021 transform into a year of flexibility and collaboration, without compromising on security or straining budgets further. Now, with office-occupancy on the rise, businesses and other organisations are investing in long-term solutions to the problems of communication and collaboration at distance, and at scale.”
The market continues to exhibit striking diversity, with products ranging from low-cost cloud-based solutions, all the way up to highly specialised telepresence suites. Vendors like Cisco are still providing high quality integrated solutions, even though most of the market is following in the wake of cloud conferencing giants like Zoom, Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams.
“Our research shows that the most important considerations for companies are privacy and security, along with ease of usability,” says Johnston. “There’s a big demand for being able to instantly enable a room to cater to both in-office and remote staff. Cloud conferencing peripherals have become a fundamental part of this bigger strategic rethink, combining UC&C platforms and hardware to ease the flow of video communication and maintain collaborative functions.”
Moving forward, Futuresource forecasts that the hardware market will grow at a CAGR of 19% between 2021 and 2026, with the majority of growth coming from cloud conferencing peripherals and room hubs, as well as team collaboration displays.
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