The 3 Challenges of Video in a BYOD World

While video may be a better way for your employees to share ideas and knowledge, the rise of enterprise video—particularly video on mobile devices—can create some challenges for IT departments.


This is perhaps why Gartner Research has taken a strong stance on the importance of including video in BYOD programs, directing readers to “Write support for mobile devices into any plan for enterprise video content management, even if your company or government doesn’t currently encourage their use.”

Beyond general concerns about device heterogeneity, though, what are the specific challenges that IT organizations will need to overcome when delivering video to mobile devices?


Challenge #1: Format Compatibility

For most organizations, a range of different devices means supporting a range of video formats.

When it comes to playing video, you’ll find there’s no shortage of viewers available on laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets—if you have a compatible video format. Apple’s iOS devices famously don’t play flash video, and even a traditional laptop might have difficulty with playback depending on the browsers and video players it has installed.

And those are just the concerns around viewing video. Empowering employees to record and share video messages, meetings, and best practices is essential to social learning and building a knowledge library—and further compounds the format compatibility challenge.

A successful strategy requires a system that allows your people to upload a range of video formats, and one that transcodes these videos into formats that can be viewed on any device.


Challenge #2: Security Concerns

The convenience and familiarity of a personal device are key to the value in a Bring Your Own Device strategy. Your people already know how to use their own equipment, and likely know more advanced techniques for using the device to its fullest.

The flipside to improved productivity that comes with BYOD is the increased surface area for security risk.

Devices bought for personal use can unintentionally introduce personal productivity habits into the workplace. Personal email may be sent from the same inbox as work email. Sensitive files may be uploaded to a personal Dropbox account rather than a secure SharePoint site. And business video may be uploaded to YouTube rather than the appropriate video library.

This is no small issue. As of this writing a YouTube search for “confidential meeting” returns more than 18,000 publicly-viewable videos—hopefully your own company’s meetings don’t number among them.

Rather than seeking to clamp down access to every possible file sharing site online, the solution to this concern is two-fold: set a firm policy on handling internal files, and ensure your in-house systems are the easiest, most logical place for employees to use. Most employees don’t intentionally take files outside the firewall—when they do, it’s typically in the name of efficiency. Ensuring your video and file systems are easy to find and easy to use with a mobile device can mitigate many unintentional security lapses.


Challenge #3: Reporting Concerns

As your employees begin to access your business video across more and more devices, you’ll also run into the challenge of tracking and reporting all that user behavior.

Especially for organizations or teams charged with compliance, training, and human resources, the need to know whether a specific user watched a specific video (and whether or not they watched it all the way through) is paramount.

Challenging this requirement is the new trend in user behavior to consume video virtually anywhere, and often across different screens. Especially for the longer videos common to training and compliance, viewers may start watching on a laptop during office hours, get distracted, and wind up finishing the video on their smartphone while riding the bus home.

To ensure your employees have access to those videos whenever and wherever they wish, and as just importantly, to ensure your organization can accurately track who’s watching what, it is essential to plan for mobile-ready video analytics as part of both your BYOD and enterprise video strategies.


So how can you solve these challenges?

In recent years, the video content management system (VCMS, or “Enterprise YouTube”) has emerged as a new type of IT infrastructure built to facilitate the management and delivery of video across a global organization. For IT departments, the VCMS provides cost-effective infrastructure for overcoming the unique challenges of video, and can be the missing link for enabling an effective BYOD strategy that includes video.

Want to find out how Panopto’s VCMS can help your organization bring video into your BYOD plans? Download our latest white paper, “Bring Your Own Video Ready Device: Six Reasons Why Your BYOD Strategy is Incomplete Without Video” or contact our team today to learn more.


Published: March 18, 2014