Axis Communications has unveiled the results of the 2013 IT and Video Surveillance Market Study conducted by IT market research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to illustrate the growing role and influence that IT departments have on their company’s surveillance initiatives.
The research found that among organizations currently using video surveillance technology, 91% indicate that IT manages or supports these deployments. Of the final survey pool of IT professionals involved with video surveillance at mid- to enterprise-sized organizations, 47% claim their department is the group most responsible for setting surveillance strategy and making final infrastructure purchasing decisions.
ESG Senior Principal Analyst Jon Oltsik said, “Given the inevitable shift from outdated analog CCTV to superior IP video systems, a number of technical factors, such as network infrastructure requirements, bandwidth usage and data storage consumption, are moving surveillance decisions beyond the realm of physical security and directly impacting IT. The ESG research indicates those IT departments that include surveillance requirements in their IT strategy and leverage video for business process improvement tend to maximize the benefits of surveillance investments while reducing unnecessary operations overhead.”
IT’s Growing Influence on Surveillance: A recent phenomenon
The ESG study indicates that the rise of the IT professional in video surveillance is a relatively recent phenomenon. Just three years ago, 52% of video surveillance deployments were supported by IT, a number which has grown to 91% today.
While other departments within an organization are involved in setting video surveillance strategy, 47% of IT respondents claim they have the most influence on final infrastructure and hardware purchasing decisions, followed by senior management (23%), physical security/loss prevention (9%), compliance (9%), facilities (5%) and legal (5%).
Bringing an IT Mindset to Physical Security: BI, storage and migration
The research identifies unique best practices for video surveillance when IT is involved. Leading organizations are:
• Leveraging surveillance for business intelligence (BI): A surprisingly high percentage (80%) of IT pros use video footage for BI. Use cases include identifying operational efficiencies (58%), production or process control (51%), inventory control (50%), identifying traffic patterns (49%) and employee training (47%).
• Using BI to justify IP video investment: For those using surveillance for BI across the organization, 88% say it helps justify IP video technology and infrastructure investments.
• Utilizing data retention and cloud replication procedures: Forty-six percent dedicate 11-25 terabytes (TB) for surveillance data storage, and 35% between 6-10 TB. Additionally, counter to the traditional physical security mindset for storing video surveillance, 40% of IT respondents leverage cloud-based services to store video data.
• Creating a technology migration plan: For organizations that use a mix of IP video and analog CCTV, 68% have a formal plan to migrate equipment to IP-based systems.
Surveillance Challenges and Imperatives for IT to Help Build a Smarter, Safer World
As with any technology shift, a natural learning curve exists as there is still a need for education about proper IP video design and implementation. Half of the top 10 challenges cited with current surveillance implementations are IT-related, according to the research. Top three are:
• The search and retrieval of footage (30%);
• The impact on network bandwidth (29%);
• The difficulty of IT to manage growing volumes of video surveillance (25%).
“We’ve seen much more IT involvement as the industry shifts to IP video – but ESG’s research was even higher than anticipated,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications, Inc. “IT’s influence can positively affect network design, storage and business intelligence best practices, and the research points to opportunities for integrators to work together with their IT and physical security contacts to overcome the challenges of IP video with proper system configuration and expectation setting.”