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INSIGHTS

Modern video surveillance brings IT to the security table

Modern video surveillance brings IT to the security table
The move to IP in video surveillance brought in new, non-traditional security players in the form of IT professionals to the security industry. Similarly, video-enabling a business means bringing in players that previously were not part of the security decision-making team. Those such as CIOs, facilities departments, marketing departments, and operations departments, are now critical members of the security roundtable.

How much one can get out of their video surveillance system is increasingly becoming a concern among end users. Maximizing return on investment (ROI) may have been a consequence of hard economic times and tightened budgets, but even in post-recession times businesses have realized that milking an investment for all it's worth is not just about the money — it's about efficiencies.

Bringing non-security personnel to the discussion table is critical, not only for budget but to gain the necessary synergy needed to give the end user exactly what they need.

When it comes to cameras, businesses have been looking for ways to utilize video data beyond the typical security surveillance uses.

Business intelligence (BI) is one way that security companies have met end-user needs to increase ROI. By applying business intelligence algorithms to video data, users are able to extract information that can be used by marketing, sales, operations, etc., departments.

The global market for BI and analytics software is forecast to grow from US$17.9 billion in 2015 to $26.8 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 8.4 percent, according to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets; North America is expected to be the largest market on the basis of spending and adoption. Furthermore, a survey commissioned by Axis Communications in 2013 via Enterprise Strategy Group revealed that 80 percent of IT pros use video footage for BI: 58 percent use BI for identifying operational efficiencies, 51 percent for production or process control, 50 percent for inventory control, 49 percent for identifying traffic patterns, and 47 percent for employee training.

However, there are many considerations when trying to get the right security system up and running for a business, and the decision no longer just belongs to security personnel. As part of this evolution of video-enabling businesses, bringing non-security personnel to the discussion table is critical, not only for budget but to gain the necessary synergy needed to give the end user exactly what they need.

New IT Approach, New Decision Makers

Video-enabling interdepartment collaboration
Collaboration between departments is key when
discussing security needs.

With technology advancing faster than the industry can keep up with, the need for IT knowledge has become ever more apparent; thus creating a more IT approach to the security market. Understanding this is critical for video-enabling a business.

The question then arises: How do you talk to an IT person about security? Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Genetec explained while IT personnel may not know about security they do know a lot about networks. "One part of this puzzle interestingly is the stakeholders around who is making security buying decisions are changing radically," Elvish said.

According to the 2013 survey commissioned by Axis, IT manages or supports 91 percent of video surveillance technology deployments within an organization, compared to only 52 percent in 2010. This nearly 40-percent increase in three years makes the shift toward a more IT approach abundantly clear.

"At the decision-making table you have to involve the CIO. If the CIO isn't at the table or the director of IT or the VP of IT, if they're not at the table, you're going to have a very hard time building buy-in for your security vision."

So what does the shift toward IT mean for video-enabling businesses? It means that no longer is deploying a security system a decision left up to security officers alone. "Making the right decision is not just about a security officer saying, 'This is what I want. I'm going to put it in.' That is the old way of thinking in security," Elvish added. "At the decision-making table you have to involve the CIO. If the CIO isn't at the table or the director of IT or the VP of IT, if they're not at the table, you're going to have a very hard time building buy-in for your security vision."

"More and more, IT is playing a key role in the security decisions and purchases organizations make. It is now more important than ever for a system to combine both physical security and IT requirements in a complete solution to meet the needs of all interested parties," said Willem Ryan, Director of Global Product Marketing at Avigilon. "The challenge is that the interests of these departments tend to differ — for example, while the security department focuses on high-quality surveillance coverage with the ability to easily access footage, the IT department is concerned with bandwidth and storage requirements."

"It's all about the bigger picture. If you can get more people around the table, understanding what's going on in terms of the security investment and making decisions on how they can bring that into other parts of the organization, you get more buy-in and you get more of chance at securing the budget you need for the type of system you want to install," added Elvish.

Securing the Budget You Need

Video-enabling securing budget
IT is now a critical part of the surveillance
purchasing decision.

According to the Axis commissioned survey, 47 percent of IT professionals involved with video surveillance in mid- to enterprise-sized organizations claimed their department is the group most responsible for setting surveillance strategy and making final infrastructure purchasing decisions. Additionally, the survey found that 88 percent of those surveyed said that using surveillance for business intelligence helped to justify IP video technology and infrastructure investments. These numbers show that IT professionals are now, in fact, a critical part of the surveillance purchasing decision.

So how do you secure the necessary security budget with IT and other departments? "If you want to help your customers get funding, you need to identify how a solution will impact many departments, not just security," said Kevin Wine, VP of Marketing for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. "Working together you can interview stakeholders from human resources, information technology, real estate, finance, etc. and then formulate how your solution can impact their objectives; even deliver unrealized ROI."

Ready to Video Enable
The value in video-enabling a business is undeniable, and more and more organizations are quickly coming to realize this. As technologies continue to advance, the ability for security companies to provide even more beyond security benefits will continue to grow. Being able to apply these benefits, however, will continue to depend on whether or not security providers and security officers are able to prove the ROI on video-enabling to organizations' IT and other non-security departments.



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