On any given day, members of your team may be working on the network, performing software updates, troubleshooting computers, and rushing into a meeting to connect a visitor’s laptop to the projector. IT pros are specialists, but when they are part of smaller teams, their organization’s leaders also expect them to be jacks-of-all-trades.
In addition to traditional IT duties, the department now often ends up with the responsibility for numerous audiovisual (AV) technologies. These can be complex, especially when integrated with other technologies in your work spaces. Sometimes this responsibility sucks up time that could be used for more strategic projects. Fortunately, there are ways to more easily manage the day-to-day workings of AV solutions. Here are five steps you can take to better manage your organization’s AV systems—and maximize your time—even with a small team.
Take the time to document all pieces of AV equipment, including their age, locations, control system codes, drawings, the last dates of service and maintenance, etc. This exercise will save time in the long run when issues or questions arise. Train your team to continually update this information so that it’s always accurate. That way, no one has to scramble for information when a projector goes out and you want to determine whether it’s under or out of warranty.
Learn more about each member of your IT team so that you know what their skills and talents are. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover a diversity of experience and a wealth of knowledge on your team. When applied to the right projects and tasks, their skills can save time and energy that would be wasted by another team member who wouldn’t even know where to begin troubleshooting.
Learning about a new technology can be time-consuming. If you know that a team member already has some knowledge of a particular technology, you can put that person on the task and save other members of your team time and frustration. On the other hand, you may lack a certain skillset on your team. If that’s the case, you’ll know that when something goes wrong with that particularly technology, it makes more sense to ask for help from an external resource.
Establish Vendor Relationships
There are other resources that can help you with both technical and non-technical support and information. Vendors and manufacturers can provide free help and resources, ranging from technical information to technical support lines. Their expertise can often be used to fill in knowledge gaps for your team.
Many IT teams are recognizing the value of building and maintaining these relationships. In fact, 57 percent of IT pros say their department spends more time managing relationships with vendors than they did a couple of years ago.
Keep A Log
Track usage of both spaces and equipment. Write down which rooms and solutions get used the most, what users are booking the spaces for, how long and how frequently they use equipment, etc. With this kind of information, you can begin to understand why some spaces go unused, why some equipment wears out before expected, and other information that will help with future technology planning.
What Is Your Time Worth?
With so many companies outsourcing areas of IT, in-house teams may be small even at mid- to large-sized organizations. If those teams retain responsibility for AV technologies, they may need resources or partners to keep collaboration and communication running smoothly.
How is your team’s time best spent? What approach to AV management will be most cost-efficient? Those are questions that all teams must answer for themselves.