Rishi Lodhia at Eagle Eye Networks describes how video surveillance isn’t just for security: it can deliver enhanced insights and business value.
In 2020, the coronavirus global pandemic helped to trigger a growing recognition of the business value of video security systems. The technology’s ability to monitor, record and analyse meant that business and security professionals quickly grasped how the capabilities offered by it could be utilised to optimise operations and manage the safe return to work.
Innovative applications of the technology in the aftermath of national lockdowns included: utilising video surveillance to manage social distancing or occupancy levels in external and internal spaces; reducing consumer/citizen on-site wait times; and the proactive monitoring of supply chains. Other use cases included supporting contact tracing and checking people’s temperature at building entrances.
Having demonstrated its vital role in keeping businesses, premises, and people safe, recent events mean more business leaders than ever before are evaluating how video data can help them make better and more informed decisions. So they can be more responsive and agile when handling future challenges.
Let’s take a look at the top five trends we believe will continue to shape the sector in 2021.
Video surveillance takes to the cloud
Demand for IP connected solutions is growing, as organisations look to utilise cloud-enabled platforms to generate benefits that go far beyond that of simple surveillance alone.
This shift to leveraging the benefits of cloud video surveillance is being powered by a number of factors that hold a strong appeal for customers. These include major cost savings, heightened data security, remote access and maintenance, increased scalability, and disaster recovery.
As more and more organisations pursue live streaming and remote viewing use cases, the storage and retention capacity and stability of performance offered by cloud represents a win-win scenario. That is especially true for organisations that need to eliminate any risk that local storage investments won’t keep up with their expanding data storage requirements.
Transformative advanced analytics will underpin business operations
No longer confined to security alone, video surveillance systems are becoming recognised as a valuable tool for generating business intelligence (BI). Generating live metrics and data that can be integrated with other data sources to deliver in-the-moment insights and operational intelligence, today’s cloud-powered video surveillance platforms are capable of delivering greater situational awareness in a variety of use cases. This year will see the emergence of sector and application specific solutions that will directly address user-specific requirements.
While the industry has been talking animatedly about AI for several years, to date deployment has lagged. This year, however, we will see AI move from the lab to achieve wide scale practical adoption as more businesses deploy solutions that enable them to analyse operations in real-time, so they can work smarter and in a more timely way.
Indeed, the utilisation of AI and BI is fast transforming video surveillance systems into truly valuable business solutions. Many of today’s solutions feature analytics that eliminate the risk of monitoring systems triggering unnecessary alarms. Meanwhile, sophisticated algorithms have already made it possible to identify different age groups, genders, or whether or not visitors entering a building are wearing face masks or maintaining social distancing.
The compliance landscape will evolve at speed
As video surveillance becomes a more widely adopted tool across industries, so regulating its use is set to become more prevalent. Regulators around the globe are rushing to play catch up as commercial and healthcare organisations increasingly utilise the technology to protect employees and service users. For example, nurses, cleaning crews, massage therapists and even those who deliver food to homes are being equipped with body-worn cameras that make it easy to monitor compliance and personal safety.
The GDPR regulation in Europe, and the CCPA in the US, have focused the attention of organisations on the need for data security and privacy when capturing personal data. Issues like the protecting the privacy of anyone recorded in a video, the identification of individuals during automatic or mass surveillance, and the privacy expectations of individuals in relation to their movement in public or work-based wash rooms and changing rooms, means that frameworks will continue to evolve.
The processing of complex and potentially personal data related to individuals who are unaware they are being monitored by video surveillance will also be more closely regulated. This has particular relevance with the rise of digital media, virtual learning, and digital lecture recording in the classroom.
IT departments continue to take ownership of video surveillance
For decades, the security team owned the video surveillance system in an office setting. However, in recent years, IT has increasingly come to the fore as organisations start to leverage video for business process improvement.
As keepers of the enterprise network, their deep understanding of the importance of cybersecurity means they are now taking the lead on the management of video surveillance systems. Expect this to escalate, as organisations start to integrate video with other core business applications like point of sale, access control, process control and manufacturing systems.
Demand for open, integrated systems is on the up
Determined to extend the value of their existing infrastructure investments, organisations will want to deploy video surveillance platforms that make it fast and easy to deploy new applications and technologies that will accelerate workload innovation or process adherence.
Having the flexibility to choose the specific technology they want and need at any given time means demands for open and connected ecosystems that make it easy to integrate any number of applications on a single video management system (VMS) platform, will grow. These platforms will handle all the heavy lifting of interfacing with cameras, recording video, securely transmitting and storing video to the cloud, and make video available for use in all integrated applications.
Expect demand to grow for open-platform and manufacturer-independent VMS solutions that deliver a high level of control and functionality that makes it easy for end users to go beyond security, and improve operations and day-to-day efficiency, without limitations
Rishi Lodhia is Managing Director EMEA at Eagle Eye Networks
Main image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com