Considering Cloud: A cost-effective solution to assist businesses amid COVID-19

September 23, 2020 by Willy Sagefalk

By Per Björkdahl, Chairman, ONVIF Steering Committee

While cloud is not a new technology to the security industry, it continues to see growth in non-security markets, driven by growing possibilities in the IoT space. In 2019, worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure was forecasted to reach $210 billion – an increase of 24 percent over 2018. For small and mid-sized businesses, as well as enterprise organizations, cloud can provide myriad opportunities by offering cost-effective solutions and increased flexibility. These benefits are particularly important now as the COVID-19 pandemic is causing many organizations to reevaluate traditional usage of existing technologies.

Cost-effectiveness for businesses of all sizes
With cloud-based video and access control services, organizations can save on hardware and service costs by reducing the purchase of hardware – NVRs, access control servers or controllers – and enabling end users to increase or decrease the level of service as needed. In particular, cloud-based access can be more accessible, flexible and easier to manage than ever before. For a small business owner searching for easier credential management, cloud capabilities include granting and revoking access rights, creating schedules and remote monitoring of their access control system

Remote monitoring for vacant spaces and less onsite staff
As cloud grows in popularity, the demand for integration and enriched service offerings – such as the ability for remote monitoring – is also on the rise. With many facilities still temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the ease of remote monitoring is especially important and is expected to play a part in the reopening of facilities. Cloud services can help determine overall system health and device status, such as whether damage has been done to the camera, or if there were errors – providing notifications long before an onsite manager would be notified. These are crucial capabilities to facility managers who are navigating the management of empty spaces and storefronts from a remote location. Additionally, remote monitoring can help keep additional eyes on a space, if the number of staff onsite is limited due to occupancy restrictions.

Hybrid Solutions
Another area of industry growth, driven by cloud solutions, is being offered by Video Management Systems (VMS) manufacturers to ease the transition to cloud, for those users for whom it makes sense. While migrating fully to the cloud can be challenging for large, enterprise organizations, a hybrid solution featuring both onsite and offsite capabilities offers an ideal alternative. End users are able to choose what events are uploaded to the cloud, thus saving on bandwidth and storage costs. These hybrid options, coupled with the growing popularity of cloud, is increasing the demand for integration, as well as bringing about a greater demand for open protocols. As the demand for hybrid solutions increases, more and more enriched services are built up around this model, such as remote monitoring.

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