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Legacy kit and lack of skills hold back digital video surveillance

Ian Grant

A huge legacy investment in analogue equipment and a lack of data integration skills are holding back more widespread adoption of fully digital video surveillance systems, according to research just published.

Frost & Sullivan research manager for commercial security Matia Grossi says the company has spent 18 months researching the plans of leading European organisations in retail, mass transit, critical national infrastructure (CNI) and commercial buildings.

Grossi says many have already moved to digital (internet protocol or IP) or hybrid systems for surveillance and other security systems, but the market revenue curves would meet only in 2016.

"We are not expecting much change in the next two years, but there is plenty of room for growth, surprisingly strongly driven by a move to high definition cameras," Grossi said.

Grossi noted that each of the vertical markets differed as to maturity. For example, CNI firms rated the IT department and other IT priorities as their biggest hurdles in getting projects approved, while mass transit firms were looking for external help with systems integration.

These differences required vendors to adopt different approaches, Grossi said. "Each use case is different for each vertical (market)," he said.

He said that the move to IP for physical security led to greater integration with the firm's IT department. The chief information officer (CIO) and the chief security officer (CSO) were now equally important in the purchasing chain, and far more important than CEOs, the study found.

"CIOs speak a different language, about return on investment and systems integration," Grossi said. "Vendors will have to learn to talk this language, not simply about product and price as they do with CSOs."

Grossi said vendors should be talking about benefits of IP and systems integration beyond security applications. These included workforce management, energy efficiency, marketing and business intelligence.


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