Is there a future for the AV integrator in digital signage, or will most if not all digital signage deployments eventually become IT projects? Why or why not?”
There is most certainly a future for the AV integrator. As deployments continue to incorporate complex technology (robust media players, interactive hardware/software, etc.), the lines continue to blur between AV and IT. That said, it is challenging for typical IT-based teams to design and execute digital signage experiences, and it takes a long time to ramp up knowledge and experience to support everything down to the display.
Traditional IT organizations may not wish to devote the resources to become AV experts, and may not be eager to support equipment that cannot be remotely managed. If integrators continue to gain expertise on more of the “IT” side of things or develop strong partnerships with IT solution providers to have a more complete offering to customers, deployment and support can improve greatly (and be of benefit to those customers and their deployments).