Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
March 1st, 2021
Author: Zohar Adler

The Importance of IT Flexibility in Growing and Scaling a Business

Plan for the future

When organizations decide to implement any new solution, they should carefully consider how their technology needs will evolve over time. Although it is impossible to anticipate every future scenario (take COVID-19 as an example!), users can generally forecast that their organization may grow, their users will have new needs, their industry will evolve, complementary technologies may emerge, or the business landscape will change. Organizations must be able to “roll with the punches” without having to entirely overhaul their technology investments. That is why it is critical for each business to invest in technologies that are designed for flexibility and scalability.

Adapt to changing technology needs

Technology architecture often determines whether a solution can scale with a business. For many, part of the initial decision-making process is choosing between on-premise deployments or centralized cloud alternatives – or even a hybrid solution that combines both models – based on business requirements, solution availability and existing resources. When a technology solution can be flexibly deployed in multiple ways, the end users and their systems integrators ensure that the solution can adapt as needed, whether it’s to integrate seamlessly with other complementary applications or balancing computational resources to support evolving requirements.

In the case of a video surveillance system, as an organization grows it may install more cameras in its network and different types of cameras – such as cameras with edge-based video processing and analytics. When adding video analytics to the technology stack, IT and L&P managers have to consider how different computational requirements might change over time – and what the impact will be on software and hardware investments. Similarly, another key growth consideration is integration with complementary software and hardware, such as Video Management System (VMS), Physical Security Information Management Systems (PSIM), Command & Control Systems (C&C), and cloud-based video surveillance solutions. All of these factors can evolve as part of the business’s ebb and flow, whether a restaurant chain is expanding or eliminating franchises; a financial institution is opening new offices or data centers; or a managed security service is onboarding new customers.

For organizations that operate multiple sites, sometimes across a country or the globe, video analytics can offer value in providing an overview of how each site is performing. For example, big box retailers increasingly use video content analytics to count people, monitor queue lengths, gather demographic data, and improve security. While each individual store benefits from having data about its own performance; for the global brand it may be even more valuable to centralize business intelligence for evaluating regional or global trends. Analyzing video surveillance across multiple sites, a company – whether a consumer bank, restaurant franchise, or manufacturing distributor – can see trend differences between sites, draw conclusions and make strategic business decisions as they grow or even dial back expansion.

Anticipate new uses from end users

Beyond business growth, businesses derive exponential value from investments by seeking new ways to leverage an existing technology solutions as flexibly as possible. Video analytics is one way that an organization can maximize the value of its surveillance investments, because – for example – it could render video surveillance a relevant data source for a marketing department, that can leverage the solution in a new or different way than traditional security users.

Even for companies that utilize intelligent video analytics, by opting for a flexible solution with comprehensive use cases, these businesses can roll out additional technology capabilities as they become relevant. For instance, property managers that have used the technology for investigating on-campus crime, may want to start tracking building occupancy and footfall. Video intelligence software must be flexible enough, both in terms of technical specifications and functionality, to accommodate the evolving needs of organizations large and small, local and international.

In a changing world, one needs technology that can adapt to changing business needs. Organizations should implement solutions that have an ultra-flexible architecture that scales effortlessly to accommodate the short and long-term needs of the multiple stakeholders within each organization.