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Prediction for 2022 | IT in AV

Prediction for 2022 | IT in AV

As we enter the year 2022 its time to start thinking about changes that this year will bring. Some of these changes are one's lifestyle while others are larger scale that effect the masses and not just one person. These changes can be for the better or could be for the worst. Here are some predictions I feel we will face in 2022.


It may sound like I am beating a dead horse here, but security is important mostly when it comes to our AV equipment. January 2021, I wrote about security,  For 2022 my prediction for security is going to be on the good and on the bad.

The good prediction is I feel the AV community is taking a better look at security of AV equipment. When I wrote my 2021 article, I mentioned about the EOL of Adobe Flash. When Adobe announced the EOL of Flash they gave about a 3-year notices but in my experience, it wasn't until Adobe killed off Flash that AV manufactures, and even IT manufactures, responded. Now fast forward to this year and again we are faced with a security issue, Log4j, but the AV community responded differently than they did just one year ago. I received multiple emails from manufactures, within a day or two of the alerts, talking about Log4j and how it impacted their products. Also, if their product was affected, they provided steps to take to solve it not just to work around it. This is just one example as over 2021 I have seen more and more articles, podcasts, and webinars talking about security. I feel, as we enter 2022, we will continue to see positive response to security issues as well as an increase of security related topics.    

The bad prediction is I feel that more AV equipment will become subject of cyber-attacks and security breaches. There seems to be a big move to get more AV equipment onto the network. With these devices gaining access to the network, they become entry points for someone to gain access to the whole network. You may say but James our equipment is on private vlans and behind firewalls. These are helpful steps to prevent a cyber-attack from the outside but as I learned in the InfoComm session titled 'Zero Trust Architectures' for the Information Communication Industry, ‘about 35% of our threats are already within our walls.’ If you are not sure what this means, it means that threats are already within our walls, passed the firewall and could even have access to those vlans. These threats can be people meaning to do harm or not. They can be our students, staff, faculty, or even a member of our own team. Now this does not call for drastically responding by running around campus and pulling off our equipment from the network, or even looking at our team-members side eyed. This just mean we need to be even more careful to make sure that we all are following our security policies and staying on top of any changes that need to be made. Humans are always the weakest link in security, and we need to be on our toes even more.


In 2022 I feel we are going to see more cloud base AV solutions. As AV take advantages of IT solutions, they are finding that the flexibility, scalability, and security of using cloud services is beneficial to our goals. Again. I feel this is going to be a good and a bad prediction for 2022.

The good prediction for cloud base solution is the flexibility, scalability, security, and support. Leveraging the power of services like AWS and Azure allows even the smallest team to easily manage, deploy, and support their classrooms' equipment. As schools look to increase their classrooms while maintaining or reducing their staff, cloud base solution will aid in this. Using cloud solutions also allows your team to leverage the expertise of these service providers. Your team can focus less on the need to manage the servers for patches, uptime, security, etc. as these companies have teams to handle those for you.

The bad prediction with cloud base solution is twofold. I first feel that we can see a decline in the need for AV techs as more IT techs take over; yes, AV is IT, but I mean a reduction in the number of techs whole role is to focus on AV. I feel we will see more 'server admins' or 'network admin' titles filling in the spot where 'AV tech' were. The second I feel is the quality of support going down. Jimmie Singleton's articles CX Recs focus on providing high level of customer experience and going cloud base solution can hurt this experience. When these services experience outages, as we saw in Dec 2021, to these cloud services we cannot put our hands up and say, ‘out of our control.’ Our faculty members are not going to want to hear 'well Amazon is down so we cannot get your projector on'. Now granted these services uptime is greater than running equipment locally, but we have backup plans when local equipment goes down also normally when local equipment fail it limited to a small area. If all our classroom’s equipment is running on cloud services and there an issue with the provider, all our classrooms are affected. We can't move a class to an open room cause that room will have the same issue. Also, while we can address issues more remotely, like IT techs, we lose that connection with our end users and lead to becoming a faceless department.   


Now those are just two predictions I have for 2022 and each have their positive and negative sides. I do feel the positive out weight the negative of these predictions. We still need to keep providing a high-level learning environment for our students. We cannot allow the negative to prevent us from advancing our classrooms. We just need to be aware of these negative and make sure we can handle them when those situations come up. With that said I do feel 2022 is going to see great advances in IT on the AV side.