Seeing Clearly in the Cloud

Say the word ‘smart’ to most business leaders and you’ll hear different perspectives on what it means. For some, Smart Cities of the future will spring to mind. For others, it’s all about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation. Within the video analytics and management sector, deployment and maintenance are certainly becoming smarter, unlocking huge potential in efficiency, capability and cost-savings.

The cloud is an integral element of this, as Neil Killick from Milestone Systems explained to RISK UK Editor Brian Sims. Here is an excerpt:

Business leaders are increasingly turning to the cloud for their day-to-day operations whether in terms of e-mail, file back-up, running applications or storing data.

Forbes magazine suggests that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. With more business leaders realising the value of the cloud, the market is booming. According to Gartner, the global public cloud services market is projected to grow by 17.5% in 2019, rising to $214.3 billion.

The cloud is coming to every business. It’s not surprising, then, that video surveillance is also turning its attention to the cloud.

Benefits of the Cloud

Many organisations initially turn to the cloud for hosting and to remove costly ongoing maintenance, but there’s far more to consider than simply moving your Network Video Recorder to the cloud.

It brings a host of benefits, especially when it comes to video management. Economies of scale are one such perk, with a lower total cost of ownership achieved through lower upfront capital costs and greater efficiency and use.

Moving to a cloud solution also paves the way for more advanced video analytics as well as scaleable computer power to apply AI and machine learning on a broader scale.

However, it’s worth noting that, unlike other industries where the majority of infrastructure can be cloud-based, there will still be a need for on-site equipment such as IP cameras, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and associated infrastructure.

From the Past to the Future

The future will see many different devices and platforms come together, with IP and the cloud converging for a short while. These will encompass autonomous devices (including the IoT), aggregated systems (such as video management platforms and AI Platforms-as-a-Service), automated solutions and augmented operations taking in virtual reality, bots and smart assistants.

Today’s video security solutions are often complex solution stacks made up of different components and systems integrated though protocols and APIs. This will not change as we move into the cloud era. If anything, we expect vendors to specialise more as many providers will adopt a platform strategy designed to unlock additional value for the end user.

It’s not ambitious to suggest that cameras will come equipped with their own platforms used to run applications to a much wider degree than what we know today. This is because no single technology vendor can realistically hope to bridge everything that’s needed for a smart video operation.

On that basis, we expect to see a long-term movement towards a multi-platform environment made up by collaborating cloud environments, wherein scaling and computing efficiency is achieved through elasticity and workload distribution between the different cloud environments.

For now, we will see more organisations advance in their cloud usage by exploring alternatives to traditional video surveillance solutions deployed on their premises. The benefits and efficiencies will prompt their move to the cloud towards Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Like other industries, the cloud’s adoption is going to fundamentally change a lot of operations. Look for solutions. Be prepared.

Read the full article on RISK Xtra to learn more about different cloud environments and value:

Posted On 11 Dec 2019, written by Brian Sims

Neil Killick is Regional Manager (EMEA) at Milestone Systems: