You can comfortably phase your org into analog sunset

Do you have the date of analog sunset on your calendar? Perhaps not, because it lingers over 2013 and caps in 2014, depending on whom you ask. The conversation has been discussed for years now. But IT decision makers in your organization should already have a plan mapped out to address it.

To get a better understanding of what analog sunset means for the enterprise, I talked to Technology Evangelist Joe Cornwall of Cables to Go.

He provided some direction on how IT leaders could avoid an expensive and rushed response to the rise of digital.

Previously, I’d only thought of analog sunset as it relates to the consumer, as in video players and analog ports on personal computers.

But as I talked to Cornwall, I glanced around my work area at my at all the equipment that would be affected by the switch to digital. Monitor. Laptop. Audio visual conference rooms geared for telepresence. Now, multiply that across the workforce, across industries and you can see the scale of the issues that analog sunset presents.

Cornwall said that, in several respects, interfaces like DisplayPort and HDMI are comparable. However, DisplayPort is a natural choice in the enterprise because it doesn’t the licensing factor that comes with HDMI.

If a manufacturer or customer has to pay a fee for each HDMI port on its hardware, at what point does licensing undermine the bottom line? Even at pennies per port that adds up.

“The efficiencies of manufacturing dictate that a company the size of Dell can’t put VGA on one product and a completely different hardware component on another,” Cornwall said. “There’s convergence to one type.”

So, with announcement that major manufacturers are phasing out analog interfaces by 2014, does that mean orgs have to dump en masse equipment with outdated interfaces? The answer of course is no.

DisplayPort has backward compatibility, meaning it can work with equipment that features VGA and DVI.  Therefore, it can be used to get digital and analog setups to communicate. You decide what to upgrade to digital as it makes sense for you. Part of DisplayPort’s appeal in the enterprise is its ability to stretch this decision over several IT cycles.

“We see a boiling down; the computing industry has to go toward DisplayPort connectivity,” Cornwall said. “DisplayPort, because of its technical nature, allows multiple displays simultaneously. We need it for tech, for efficiency.”

About the Author: Nicole Smith