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Deploying a Cloud Strategy

Deploying a Cloud Strategy

Why mid-market companies can—and should—deploy a video cloud strategy

There’s enormous opportunity for all enterprises in the cloud, and those in the middle market are taking note. For mid-market businesses, the past few years have been the dawn of a new era in cloud adoption—one marked by significant growth in the maturity of IT teams and a resulting push toward more sophisticated cloud deployments. As a 2018 Techaisle report on SMB and mid-market IT maturity segments revealed, 52 percent of mid-market enterprises can be considered “advanced” as far as IT deployments. This means these businesses have chosen to adopt cloud solutions. However, businesses can face challenges in terms of platform selection, data/process management, security and other factors that can delay deployment.

When it comes to video surveillance, there is a clear business case for midsize businesses to migrate to the cloud. Benefits of cloudbased video surveillance include better security, less hardware, data redundancy, easier scalability, and perhaps most importantly, actionable analytics. Ultimately, adopting cloud for video surveillance is a key step for mid-market businesses toward managing their operations like an enterprise business, but adopting video cloud technology demands a strategic approach to avoid common hurdles.

Obstacles to Mid-market Cloud Video Surveillance Adoption

Despite benefits of cloud-based video surveillance, many mid-market organizations face challenges to deploying a video cloud strategy, including prioritization and confidence in data security.

Prioritization. Mid-market businesses may not have the internal resources compared to those of large enterprises. Whereas larger organizations have dedicated teams focused on cloud mapping and strategy—and actively working to identify functions, like surveillance, that would be best served in the cloud—many mid-market businesses do not. Instead, as the Techaisle study pointed out, a significant percentage of mid-market enterprises approach cloud purchasing on an ad-hoc, rather than strategic, basis. As a result, cloud-based surveillance often takes a backseat to more immediate business concerns.

Confidence. With mid-market organizations, there’s a widespread lack of confidence that often accompanies a cloud move. A Deloitte study of technology and the mid-market pointed out, this insecurity stems from concerns that a move to the cloud represents a relinquishing of control and a significantly heightened risk of data being compromised or corrupted. This sense of insecurity can become even more pronounced when it comes to surveillance footage, something all businesses guard securely.

Business Benefits of Adopting a Video Cloud Strategy

Central management of multi-site locations: On-premise video surveillance presents a management and cost challenge for mid-market businesses, especially as they scale. When organizations confine their video surveillance to on-prem, they must manually monitor hardware in addition to upgrading and replacing it as needed. While this approach works in the traditional sense, providing location-specific video recordings to be reviewed live and at later dates, it prevents organizations from seeing their business as one enterprise. Because video data is siloed from site to site, mid-market businesses are unable to correlate their data and lose out on actionable insights.

Scalability and security of cloud. In contrast to on-prem video surveillance, a cloud-based approach is built to scale up securely and without incurring additional technology and hardware costs. When mid-market organizations migrate video to the cloud, they put themselves in a flexible environment where their surveillance capabilities can seamlessly keep pace with business growth. Software maintenance is streamlined with automatic updates pushed out through the cloud. Mid-market businesses migrating to cloud benefit from having their software always up-to-date.

Machine learning and predictive analytics. By moving video to the cloud, businesses can turn untapped surveillance data into a powerful intelligence tool. The advancement of IoT and machine learning enables companies to glean actionable insights from their previously static video data. Combining video surveillance data with IoT sensor data (such as access control and building management) within the cloud allows businesses to identify patterns, investigate anomalies, and optimize for efficiency.

With these benefits in mind, how can mid-market organizations set themselves up for success by migrating video surveillance to the cloud?

Key Components for Successful Migration

Mid-market businesses pursuing cloud-based video surveillance solutions must be careful to devise a strategy that is both realistic for the business today and sustainable for the business in the future. Certainly there are many factors to consider when evaluating cloudbased surveillance providers, but three key components are critical for successful migration to the cloud.

Identifying needs of today. There is no shortage of vendors providing cloud-based surveillance solutions. When considering all the various offerings, the evaluation process can be overwhelming. That’s why it is critical to identify what your business needs today but still keeping in mind what you may need in the future. For some, the needs of today may simply be basic video data management. Consider this: if a solution is unable to meet the needs of business today, how will that solution cater to needs of the future?

One size does not fit all when it comes to cloud. Often, businesses view cloud migration as a massive deployment that includes bulldozing previous systems and processes. The beauty of cloud is that it works with you. There is no right way to adopting cloud and the key is understanding what makes sense for your business. For some organizations, it means having a hybrid of both on-premise and cloudbased solutions. For others, it means deploying cloud selectively at certain sites or areas on a trial basis before having a comprehensive migration plan.

Find a solution that add true value. There are many claims to what cloud-based solutions can—or, more importantly, cannot—do when it comes to video surveillance. As mid-market organizations consider solution providers relative to the needs of their businesses today, it is important to evaluate what vendors offer outside of the basics: security, data redundancy, ease of scalability, and analytics.

Mid-market businesses have much to gain from adopting cloud-based video surveillance, and the beauty of cloud is that these organizations can implement solutions as it best suits their business needs.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Security Today.

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