Hosted physical security delivers benefits for business

Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean explores the growing appetite for cloud-enabled security services and how businesses can benefit from the intelligent insights to improve operations.

The term ‘security’ in the IT world is commonly taken to mean the safeguarding of software, systems and data. Yet cloud also brings physical security into the equation to better protect people, premises and assets. Through advancements in IoT technologies that enable the connection of IP devices to a network, the world of physical security that includes access control and video surveillance, is benefitting from cloud platforms. The Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) market, in particular, is expected to reach USD $5.93b by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 22.0%, in part due to the intelligent insights that connected systems can deliver to improve operations for a business of any size.

For many business leaders and IT managers, better security, cost benefit and better functionality were found to be the most influential factors and the most commonly realised benefits of hosted security solutions as cloud continues to transform and streamline business operations across every industry. Legacy IT systems, which are proving both expensive to maintain and increasingly problematic to secure, are being replaced by cloud-hosted solutions buoyed by the low cost set up, the flexible scalability on offer and the increasing demand for real-time and remote access to data. 

Understanding the appetite for hosted security

We know this because Morphean recently commissioned an independent survey into the attitudes and behaviours of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe, forming the basis of a new whitepaper, ‘2019 Landscape Report: Hosted Security adoption in Europe’. We wanted to gain a better understanding of purchasing intent for evolving security provision in the 2020s. Results revealed that as many as 84% of IT managers reported currently using (48%) or considering using (36%) cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) or access control (ACaaS) systems to enhance their security provision.

Our survey also revealed that 36% of IT managers identified operational performance as a priority for improvement within the next year. When we consider the many aspects of operational performance, productivity will always be a key measure, and cloud facilitates leaner decision-making, being more scalable and customisable to adapt to the changing business landscape as required. Both VSaaS and ACaaS use a ‘pay-as-you-go’ model which is already the preference of the IT department, removing the large scale capital expenditure associated with on-premise IT equipment and shifting this to the cloud as an operational expense with all the cost, space and security benefits this brings.

Unlocking potential for business application

Video cameras, or other common physical security devices, are by their very nature ubiquitous at critical points of business infrastructure. This means that they are collecting vital data that can be utilised for a number of different purposes through analysis and combination with other sources of intelligence. Once management of physical security has been shifted to the cloud, an array of possibilities can be accessed depending on budget and business requirement, without the need to upgrade or replace expensive on-site hardware.

Cloud-enabled physical security has much potential. A simple example might be: real-time analysis of visitor numbers, gender and age demographic in a retail store on a particular day. This data could then be cross-referenced with current promotional campaigns to gauge effectiveness, or used to identify insights into customer behaviour patterns in-store such as hot and cold zones. The same platform might ‘learn’ what in-store behaviours cause queue build-ups, and trigger alerts more readily to advise management that more till staff are needed. 

Similarly, machine learning can be used to identify suspicious behaviour or recognise the start of a violent altercation between visitors and staff, to prevent an incident before it occurs. Building management could benefit too, as cameras could be used to shut down climate controls or turn off lighting in unused space. As more companies experiment with the potential, more use cases for using video surveillance and access control technologies in the cloud will emerge, widening the scope of this technology across multiple industries and delivering improved business intelligence and operational efficiencies.

Facing the challenges and reaping the benefits 

Both VSaaS and ACaaS offer customers a security solution that is not only invaluable for the management and protection of premises, assets and people, but also integrates seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure. For the business leader committed to improving operational performance across teams, systems and services, unlocking powerful business insights from these converged platforms makes good sense. In a world which is increasingly reliant on the cloud for its daily business needs, hosted physical security will ensure that all businesses, of any size, are more capable of meeting the wide range of challenges we face in our modern age.

For further insights read our 2019 Landscape Report: Hosted security adoption in Europe

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