Physical security concerns are a top priority for executives, and video surveillance technologies play a crucial role in meeting safety and security requirements. In my work with CDW customers, I’ve witnessed a significant shift in recent years as organizations realize that video surveillance is a technology solution and shift responsibility for maintaining video surveillance systems from facilities teams to IT staff. In fact, a recent survey indicates that about half of CDW’s customers have already completed this transition, and others are preparing to hand over responsibility to technology teams.
As IT departments take over these solutions, they want to apply long-standing IT best practices to help them manage video surveillance efficiently and effectively. IT professionals often find themselves inheriting video surveillance systems that use different products at different facilities and may still rely on outdated technologies. To address the limitations of these systems, many organizations are engaging in efforts to modernize, standardize and automate video surveillance.
Consider Cloud-Based Video Surveillance
When today’s IT teams encounter a new business requirement, they often look first to the cloud for solutions, hoping to gain the flexibility, scalability and agility benefits that the cloud offers. This is certainly true for video surveillance systems. Let’s look at four key reasons that organizations are moving away from on-premises video setups and adopting cloud-based video surveillance technology instead.
The cloud is cost-effective. Video surveillance systems are often deployed for safety and security reasons, and while these are extremely important applications, they don’t directly align with business strategy. As a result, business leaders view video surveillance as a cost center and want evidence that solutions are working as cost effectively as possible. The cloud provides this assurance.
Cloud-based solutions add business value. Once cloud video surveillance systems are integrated with an organization’s technology infrastructure, IT teams may use them to deliver additional business value. Novel applications of cloud-based video surveillance use analytics to help organizations optimize manufacturing processes, track building occupancy rates and automatically read license plates.
Cloud surveillance is reliable. Cloud providers manage massive video infrastructures that support thousands of clients. This allows them to build out highly reliable environments that minimize outages and require zero downtime for system maintenance and upgrades.
Cloud solutions lower incident response time. Cloud platforms provide robust search functionality that allows incident investigators to quickly track individuals and objects as they move throughout a facility. They also provide easy sharing of stored video clips and livestreamed data for law enforcement and other third parties.
These key benefits lead most of CDW’s customers to determine that cloud-based products are the best fit for their video surveillance requirements.
Select a Video Surveillance Provider
Not all cloud video surveillance systems are created equal, and different solutions are appropriate for different operating environments. Here are questions you should ask as you look for the solution that will best meet your needs:
Do we have an existing investment in cameras and other equipment that we want to continue using? If your organization has a large footprint of modern cameras, replacing those could be costly. Consider a video surveillance platform that doesn’t rely on proprietary cameras but instead allows you to incorporate your existing investment.
How much video do we need to retain and for how long? Compliance requirements vary significantly across industries, based on best practices and industry regulations. Make sure you consider the long-term storage costs of keeping video data in active and archival states with your cloud provider.
Do we have sufficient network bandwidth to support the number of cameras and quality of video we require? Moving video data to the cloud is bandwidth-intensive, and cameras stream video constantly. Make sure your network is ready for this load before deploying a new cloud-based system. If it’s not, consider cloud-managed solutions that use on-premises storage to reduce bandwidth consumption.
CDW has extensive experience deploying both cloud-based and on-premises video surveillance solutions. If you’re planning to replace your existing legacy system with newer digital technology, our solution architects can help you develop your requirements, select appropriate technologies and deploy new technology throughout your facilities.