The use of video surveillance in business has continually evolved since the introduction of closed circuit television monitoring (CCTV) in the early 1960s. Throughout the years, we have witnessed the rapid uptake of some technologies, while others showed the promise of benefits but did not experience widespread confirmation of their business value.
As we transition to the next decade, below are some trends that will potentially influence the role of CCTV and IP video systems in security environments:
A Continued Transition to IP
A trend that continues to evolve and prove its value is the video security market’s transition from analog CCTV video systems to more sophisticated, proactive, network-based IP video. The transition from passive analog to network-based intelligent video solutions has greatly improved the ability to quickly and efficiently detect security breaches, as well as deliver video and data across organizations and to outside agencies. Network-based IP video helps to more effectively address security threats, improve operational efficiency and comply with cost containment mandates. This transition to IP also reflects customers’ desire to treat video as any other network data asset and integrate video with other types of network-based security systems, building management systems, and corporate data systems to create a more holistic security solution.
Establishment of Interoperability Standards
Since 2008, two industry associations – OnVIF and PSIA – started defining network interface standards for IP-based security systems. The goal of the standards is to establish an open platform design for security products and systems such that they can communicate with each other without additional development, testing, and certification. Going forward, it is reasonable to expect that the two standards will mature, converge, and gain adoption. From a system selection perspective, the network interface standards shift importance customers place on how open a security system is to how well the system enables relevant use cases and situations in a customer environment.
The Move to End-to-End Solution Suites
The video security market is fragmented, and the players vary by vertical, company size and breadth of offering. As the market matures, the question remains: how fast will the process take? As we have seen in other sectors, more and more organizations today are looking for a comprehensive suite for their security systems—one that is delivered by a single, trusted vendor, rather than purchasing niche solutions through a number of providers. In addition to the integration challenges of disparate solutions, other end-user burdens include having to rely on multiple sources for support, maintenance and upgrades. We have reached a point in the industry where customers are looking at video as a solution rather than as a disparate number of products or technologies. They are comparing the benefits of the overall suite and not necessarily each and every suite component. While an end-to-end solution may sound counter-intuitive to the previous trend of open IP-based systems, it is actually quite logical and complementary, as long as the end-to-end suite is based on non-proprietary standards and the various modules within the solution (such the video management software, encoders and IP cameras) can operate with other vendors’ products and IT platforms.
A Focus on IT-Savvy Customer Service
The benefits of an open, standards-based architecture that can readily integrate with an organization’s current IT infrastructure, and commercially available network, server and storage technologies, are obvious. Those benefits drive in parallel the need for vendors to deliver a different type of service and support. It is much less about “break and fix” and much more about network configuration, remote access, solution trouble-shooting and network monitoring tools. This represents a change in mind set and expectations from customers: it’s not just about how good the product is, it is more about how well the vendor-partner can scale, how IT-savvy employees are, and the level and breadth of expertise that is on-hand to support the solution within a network environment.
The Rise of Integrated Video Analytics
Video analytics always carried the promise of a simplified and automated process to help elevate manual, resource-intensive operations. When video analytics was introduced a few years ago, it was perceived as a stand-alone market with exponential growth possibilities. The reasons that video analytics did not grow as quickly as expected are well documented. It is clear now that what started as a seeming stand-alone market became over time a niche that has since evolved into a powerful capability within today’s end-to end video suites. As such, video analytics is actually driving greater impact, business value and results as part of an offering. Tighter integration within a broader set of applications and the price efficiencies this structure can carry as part of a broader suite are but a few of the end benefits.
Physical Security Information Management Platforms
Security command and control centers have traditionally required manual correlation of information across various standalone security and public safety systems ranging from intrusion, access control, and video systems to public safety access points, first responder mobile systems, a multitude of public announcement systems, and mobile devices. To be able to identify, prevent, and respond to physical security challenges most effectively, users have often preferred systems and platforms that offered the most integration. The introduction of physical security information management systems changes the architecture paradigm providing a platform for users to collaborate, correlate, and analyze information from a multitude of security sub-systems, rapidly route information to appropriate responders based on pre-defined rules, and refine the processes on an ongoing basis, using lessons learned from the past.
The Bottom Line
The video security market is going through a very exciting change. We have witnessed a dramatic evolution from “box-based” to “comprehensive solution” sales for video security needs. This is not a revolution but an evolution that will take years, and is reflected in the six trends highlighted above. Better understanding the trends and changes they bring will enable organizations to more efficiently plan, determine requirements and identify key criteria vital to their successes. Acknowledging such trends also will enable vendors and integrators to evolve and expand their solution sets and support offerings to better serve customers’ changing needs. All in all, these trends will serve as a catalyst for improving business value, while protecting lives, assets, and data around the world.
What trends do you see as helping to improve the industry? Leave a comment below and share your ideas with us!