Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
September 13th, 2021
Author: Graham Chamberlain

What is the Total Cost of Video Analytics System Ownership?

Video Analytics: Upfront Costs & Long-Term Benefits

Video analytics enables organizations to realize the value of their video surveillance investments by deriving intelligence from video content that those systems produce. Driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, video analytics technology identifies, classifies and indexes objects in surveillance video, so the extracted and categorized data can be searched, acted upon, and quantified. The software processes video in real-time so that users can customize triggers for real-time alerts allowing the operator to quickly assess and respond to incidents, as necessary. In addition, video can be processed on demand, so users can accelerate investigations by searching footage and aggregate long-term metadata to deliver business intelligence about behaviors and events.

When an organization is considering implementing a video content analytics system, one major consideration is the total cost of ownership (TCO). Naturally, this cost will vary for each organization based on their unique environment(s). Read on for a discussion of various deployment factors and their cost considerations (hardware, networking, training, and implementation), as well as the long-term savings benefits to take into account when planning a video content analytics deployment.

  1. Camera & Hardware Requirements

Video analytics is a software solution; however, to enable video processing, solution architects need to plan around complex hardware requirements that support the technology requirements. For many deployments, the primary hardware investment is the cameras that will capture the video to be analyzed. When planning a video analytics deployment, the type of cameras available and the placement of those cameras are key considerations these can dictate the types (and accuracy) of analytics possible. Video resolution, bitrate and frame rate will also factor into the recommended supporting hardware for your video analysis integration.

Video processing requirements will be decided based on how much real-time or on-demand processing the end user organization will utilize. This in turn will vary the other hardware investments required to provide that service. Other considerations are the software licensing models and number of licenses needed to support your environment and needs.

  1. Deployment Model

The architecture of a video analytics solution can also vary based on the organizational needs. Some will be looking at cross-site analytics for multiple locations, whereas others might be considering analytics for a single site. Others yet could be deploying a hybrid architecture that involves edge processing distributed across smart cameras and servers.

  1. Networking Requirements

In terms of networking requirements, organizations must keep in mind that there may be organization-wide impact on network bandwidth if a lot of live video streaming is required; the number of cameras can also impact bandwidth requirements.

  1. Training & Implementation Costs

There may also be soft costs associated with user training and system deployment (perhaps by a third party systems integrator), which would impact the overall costs.

Weighing the Costs Against the Benefits

While it’s easy to focus on the upfront costs of a video analytics system, an important TCO consideration is the savings and outcomes of the investment: Every organization is different and will have varied benefits and results based on industry and user type, but here are a few examples that demonstrate the positive financial impact of a video analytics system on a law enforcement or security team or a commercial business.

Law Enforcement & Security Enablement

  1. Accelerate Post-Event Investigations
    Increase scene understanding and accelerate time to target with granular, filtered video searches, accurately reviewing hours or days of footage, in a matter of minutes, for quicker case resolution.
  2. Increase Real-Time Situational Awareness
    Improve situational awareness and quickly respond to evolving situations, by triggering real-time notifications of pre-set behaviors or activity.
  3. Optimize Footfall and Traffic Flows
    Aggregated video data empowers police professionals with accurate trend insights, so agencies can proactively identify and preventatively prepare for peak traffic times and problem hotspots and better execute on community policing initiatives.

Retail & Hospitality

  1. Maximize Traffic Flow and Space Utilization
    Understand how visitors navigate and interact within a space to inform facility layout, staffing, and marketing and merchandising decision making and leverage real-time alerting to proactively respond to queue formations and alleviate crowding.
  2. Derive Intelligence and Drive Performance
    Empower operational decision-making and increased productivity, real-time response, and incident investigations with demographic intelligence, behavioral heatmaps, and data visualizations that enable staff and visitor management and planning; real-time alerts for unexpected and potentially suspicious behaviors; and forensic search capabilities for rapid video investigation.
  3. Maintain Facilities Based on Actual Usage
    Improve efficiency and create a cleaner environment for your guests and visitors by planning maintenance schedules based on actual facility usage rather than traditional time-based schedules.

These are just a few examples of how video content analytics can be applied to increase productivity, reduce inefficiencies and costs – you can discover the benefits of video analysis for your role and business industry by using BriefCam’s Business Case Assessment. When considering the total cost of owning a video analytics system, these benefits are key factors to account for – in addition to the upfront, more technical costs of the technology – that can help understand and justify the return on a video analytics investment, in the short-term and the long-term.