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Cloud-based surveillance integrates well, cost effective

Video surveillance solutions always have been a fundamental aspect of any successful integrated security system. Surveillance technologies are undergoing rapid change, especially as cloud computing and mobile services come into play.

Video surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS), however, is losing momentum in the private sector as decision-makers recognize the technology may not deliver as many benefits as traditional surveillance cameras. This was highlighted in a recent report by IMS Research, which revealed that the VSaaS market for American small and medium-sized businesses was forecast to be worth less than $50 million in 2012.

"A VSaaS solution must return on the initial investment as soon as possible by incorporating multiple applications and functions to add value over a 'traditional' video surveillance system," said Sam Grinter, an analyst at IMS Research.

Nevertheless, there are potential benefits of using a VSaaS offering. These advantages are usually associated with reducing theft by providing evidence of criminal activities and the ability to integrate cloud-based surveillance solutions with other technologies, IMS Research noted. Since each company has different demands, however, VSaaS providers need to help companies in their quest to achieve ultimate security.

"The on-going service cost and lack of knowledge of the potential benefits of VSaaS on the customers behalf, has limited growth," Grinter said. A VSaaS provider must justify why a company should invest in their VSaaS solution. Demonstrations and trial deployments have proved effective strategies for introducing new customers to VSaaS."

Integration is key to VSaaS growth
Combining access control systems, surveillance cameras and a number of other security solutions under one roof provides numerous benefits, including reduced expenses through consolidation and, more importantly, enhanced physical protection from intruders and malicious individuals.

In the past, each security application had its own management tactics and complications. By converging multiple tools, decision-makers reduce these issues and save money in the long run.

"Increasing the functionality of a 'traditional' video system not only extends the application of the solution, but also spreads the cost of the service for the customer. This makes the entire solution a more attractive proposition," Grinter asserted. "If more VSaaS providers follow this strategy the adoption of VSaaS in the SMB market could grow quickly over the next five years."

Cost-effective benefits also drive adoption
A separate report by Frost & Sullivan echoed the growing market for VSaaS throughout the public and private sector. VSaaS is largely growing because organizations of all sizes are looking to protect physical assets from terrorists, criminals and other people intent on causing harm. Since cloud-based video surveillance systems are cost effective, decision-makers from nearly every industry can enjoy the benefits the technology has to offer, even as the macroeconomic crisis continues to introduce new complications.

Frost & Sullivan said companies in North America are leading the charge in adopting VSaaS, followed closely by those located in Europe.

Another report by Gartner said the global cloud services market is forecast to grow more than 19 percent in 2012, totaling roughly $109 billion in revenue around the world.

"The key to taking advantage of [the growing cloud services market] growth will be understanding the nuances of the opportunity within service segments and geographic regions, and then prioritizing investments in line with the opportunities," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner.

As the turbulent economy continues to influence executives to reduce expenses in any way possible, organizations will adopt cloud-based security systems so they can integrate multiple applications together without driving costs.

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