Has video conferencing replaced the need for business travel?

Friday, March 30 2012

Video conferencing has established a reputation of efficiency. Through this technology, businesses can cut operational costs by streamlining productivity and optimizing their workforce. Web-based conferencing can increase sales by allowing agents access to a broader market, possibly resulting in larger profits that can be reinvested into a company in other areas that may be struggling.

Another well-known benefit to online video conferencing is that it can decrease business expenses by reducing unnecessary travel for business meetings, presentations and training.

A recent report from CDW finds that nearly three quarters of all companies plan to implement video conferencing within the next two years. With so many companies investing in conferencing technology, has it eliminated the need for business travel completely?

According to Mercury News, corporations have been leading the way with replacing expensive air travel with video conferencing solutions. Cisco cut its travel budget from $740 million to $240 million by implementing conferencing software, while AMD executive Linda Starr went from flying over one million air miles per year to roughly 100,000. Additionally, major airlines are reporting a decrease in business travel of roughly 30 percent.

While it has shown to have a major impact, it most likely has not completely eliminated the need to travel. Ultimately, video conferencing has developed into a tool that when properly utilized, can positively impact any business.