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Adapting to New Technologies: Common Mistakes in AV System Evolution

Technology is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. Audiovisual systems that were once cutting edge become outdated in just a few years as new innovations emerge. While upgrading technologies is necessary to keep up with evolving needs, many organizations fail to properly plan for and manage their AV system evolution. This leads to common mistakes that can undermine the goals of technological advancement and create inefficiencies. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most frequent errors organizations make when adapting their AV systems to new technologies.

Lack of Strategic Planning

One of the biggest issues organizations face is a lack of strategic planning for technology transitions. Rather than take a methodical, goal-oriented approach, many simply react to emerging technologies in an ad hoc manner. Upgrades are done piecemeal without properly considering how new additions will integrate with existing infrastructure or align with longer term objectives.

For example, an organization may purchase a new video conferencing system without planning for necessary network upgrades, compatibility testing with other systems, or employee training. They fail to map out a multi-year technology roadmap anchored to business goals. This leads to:

Incompatibilities between old and new systems that undermine functionality

Duplication of technologies serving similar purposes

Budgeting and resource allocation issues as piecemeal upgrades aren't factored into long-term financial planning

Employee/user challenges without proper change management practices in place

The lack of a strategic plan is a root cause of many other common mistakes outlined below. Taking time up front for research, goal-setting, and roadmapping is crucial to success.

Failure to Properly Budget

Closely related to strategic planning is budgeting. Many organizations do not factor technology refreshes and upgrades properly into their long-term capital and operating expense projections. As a result, they are left scrambling when the bill comes due for major system overhauls or replacements.

Common budgeting shortfalls include:

Not including expenses like training, installation, configuration, support in total cost of ownership

Underestimating frequency and pace of necessary upgrades required to keep current

Failing to set aside adequate annual budgets to systematically replace aging equipment

Relying too heavily on one-time budgets or grants rather than building replacement into core funding

Proper life-cycle costing and financial planning is key to avoiding budget shortfalls down the road that force delayed or cheaper alternatives that compromise quality.

Inadequate Change Management

Change management practices around new technologies are often not robust enough, leading to user adoption challenges. Some common mistakes include:

Lack of training tailored to different user levels, needs, and learning styles

Poor, confusing, or incomplete communication about changes

Unrealistic timelines that don't factor in adaptation periods

Insufficient stakeholder engagement upfront in selection and planning processes

Not building in evaluation periods to identify issues early and make adjustments

Strong change management ensures users are prepared and supported in transitioning to new systems smoothly. It's an important ingredient for successful technology deployments.

Failure to Maintain Existing Infrastructure

In the rush to adopt new innovations, many organizations neglect properly maintaining their existing AV technologies. As systems age without necessary cleaning, repairs or updates, reliability suffers just as replacement is being considered.

Some signs of neglect include:

Outdated, unsupported operating systems prone to security issues

Worn, dirty components like projector filters reducing performance

Aging cables and connectors degrading signal quality over time

Lack of scheduled preventative maintenance checks by qualified technicians

This sets the stage for more extensive overhauls than needed. Regular, planned maintenance optimizes the lifespan of existing tech and prevents unnecessary early replacements that waste funds.

Incompatibility Between Old and New

Without a strategic plan mapping out a phased transition, organizations risk hodgepodge systems that don't seamlessly integrate. This is exacerbated by not testing new products against legacy infrastructure during pilot and selection processes.

Common manifestations of incompatibility include:

Inability to share or transfer content between disparate systems

Format mismatches preventing old files/data from playing on new equipment

Interface design differences confusing users accustomed to old workflows

Connectivity nightmares from mixing wired and wireless technologies

Regular audits and roadmapping integration requirements ahead of purchases help mitigate these issues that undermine user experience and productivity gains. Standardizing in phases streamlines transitions.

Lack of Evaluation Processes

Many organizations fail to properly evaluate the success and shortcomings of their technology changes on an ongoing basis. Without structured feedback opportunities:

User adoption challenges or training gaps aren't identified and addressed

System performance issues blamed on user error rather than design flaws

Business value not being tracked to justify ongoing support costs

Emerging needs or market gaps not recognized in time for next planning cycle

Incorporating surveys, focus groups, usage and performance metrics helps reveal areas for improvement. Ongoing evaluation is crucial for upholding quality as systems evolve.


In our rapidly changing technology landscape, staying up to date is vital yet fraught with potential pitfalls. By learning from the common mistakes highlighted and implementing strategic planning, it's possible for organizations to thoughtfully adapt AV systems in ways that realize functional and business goals. With disciplined processes for budgeting, change management, evaluation and phased transitions, technologies become true enablers rather than sources of headaches.

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