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IT gets more involved in video surveillance

Read time 3min 20sec

More than two-thirds of companies now plan to expand their use of video surveillance systems beyond security and into operations improvement.

So says Dean Drako, president and CEO at Eagle Eye Networks, commenting on the company's recent Video Surveillance Survey, which covers the results of multiple 250-500 respondent surveys of video surveillance and IT professionals. The survey topics spanned targeted use of video surveillance systems, cloud video surveillance, IT's role, and view of video surveillance system vulnerability.

According to the survey, nearly six in 10 IT security professionals are now involved with video surveillance (up from 49%).

"There is a deepening involvement of their IT personnel in many aspects of video surveillance activities," says Drako. "As video security systems move from analogue cameras to IP-based cameras, they start to interact with the network of the customer. Once devices attach to the network of a company, the IT team starts to become involved to manage them, as they have significant expertise in IP management."

Drako also notes that storage requirements are going up for camera systems, and as the storage goes up, the IT team's storage expertise becomes useful.

"It's clear that the storage, servers and network associated with the security system are in the IT department domain once they move to IP. The physical security organisation will become a customer of the IT organisation who will manage and keep the system running. It's important to note that as these devices connect to the Internet, security becomes an issue as well and the IT department has experience."

Some 68% of the 500 respondents surveyed on their video surveillance systems' usage plans indicated they were targeting using surveillance for business operations improvement. That number is more than twice that of those who plan to continue using video surveillance exclusively for protection purposes.

Eagle Eye Networks says that in the next two years, the respondents plan to use video surveillance to improve operations rather than merely for security/protection. The top tier business focus areas selected were improving sales/customer service and managing general employee productivity. The second tier plans were analysing customer behaviour/patterns, reducing injury, and compliance with processes/hours.

Two thirds of the 250 survey respondents surveyed cited their company's ideal preference for the location of their video recording wanted at least some cloud video recording. The largest group, 44%, wanted a mix of both cloud and on-premise recording. Only 35% exclusively prefer on-site video recording.

The top advantage of a cloud-managed video surveillance system cited was flexible storage capacity and off-site redundancy. The second driver was a tie between easier access to video content/ camera status and easier multi-site integration/upgrades. The third tier was easier camera deployment and the reduced upfront costs and support.

The two primary hurdles to cloud-managed video surveillance system deployment were cloud security and high bandwidth usage. The respondents' top frustrations with their current video surveillance systems was poor image quality. Other criticisms were fairly evenly divided between multi-site issues/camera/browser incompatibility, limited or difficult access to video content, system unreliability and/or not knowing that the system wasn't functioning, and outgrowing the system and/or the technology becoming outdated.

"Cloud computing has had very little effect to date in terms of deployment and money spent. It will have a huge impact in making all these new applications possible, making it more flexible, and providing a lower total cost of ownership," says Drako. "Just as the cloud impacted CRM, Web sites, e-mail, ERP, file servers and more, the cloud will have a similar positive impact on video surveillance," he concludes.

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