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?”
While it’s clear that IT involvement has become a critical component for most digital signage deployments, it does not in any way diminish the importance of integrators and the other key components of a successful deployment. I have always thought of digital signage narrowed down into three main components: Strategy, Content, and Equipment. Of course, there are many other subcomponents that one can argue belong in that list such as connectivity, software and analytics, but I think they can all be ultimately grouped within one of these three categories.
Claiming that most digital signage deployments will eventually become IT projects ignores the importance of having all three components fully covered. IT is almost always involved in the connectivity (equipment), sometimes the software (content) and sometimes even the video components themselves (equipment), but in most IT departments it is rarely the case that the expertise exists to integrate the highly specialized AV components, let alone tackle areas such as content and strategy. This is where the role of the AV integrator shows its value.
Someone who has the experience and expertise to help guide the strategy, selection, deployment and even the management of these specialized systems into a successful digital signage deployment can be critical. Whether filled externally or by an in-house person, the integrator helps fill the gaps in expertise that almost always exist within a traditional IT department and brings the various components together into a cohesive and functional deployment.