How the needs of IT and security teams are evolving

When considering which security camera system is the right fit for your organization, you should evaluate how your organization uses cameras today and how they will use cameras in the near future. The system you select should take their needs into account. You will need to understand your needs to determine if you need an outdoor security camera system or something focused more indoors. You may need a traditional video surveillance system or an intelligent video surveillance system, but either way this decision will be critical for your organization’s success today and in the future.

There are key questions to answer when determining the best security camera system is the best fit for your organization:

Who needs camera access?

You may find that camera access will need to extend beyond IT into organizations like HR and operations. While IT may review footage for compliance and incident resolution, operations may review footage to ensure that business processes are running efficiently. Once you have an understanding of who needs camera access, you’ll need to make sure your next security camera system has the required features to support each of them.

You may find that camera access will need to extend beyond IT into organizations like security, HR, and operations. While IT may review footage for compliance and incident resolution, operations may review footage to ensure that business processes are running efficiently. Once you have a clear understanding of who needs camera access, you can make sure your next system has the required features to support each of them.

Key features to look for dealing with camera access include:

  • Workflow enablement
    • Make it easy to view live footage across multiple cameras
    • Enable your team to easily find and share video footage
  • Collaboration
    • Choose a system that allows internal users to annotate and comment on video
    • Ensure that video footage can be shared securely with external stakeholders who don’t have daily access to your camera system
  • Role-based access control
    • Easily provision users for your camera system
    • Specify access to the right cameras and features that are most relevant to that user

Are users viewing video footage primarily local, remote, or both?

When evaluating your next camera system, you’ll need to understand whether users will need to access local cameras, remote cameras, or both.

Most companies will have users who require remote access to their video surveillance system. As work and people become more geographically distributed, they require systems that will support that distribution. And you should plan for this distribution to continue to increase by selecting a system that offers easy remote access, mobile access, and a unified dashboard that provides access anytime, anywhere.

Most organizations will have users who require remote access. As work and people become more geographically distributed, they require systems that will support that distribution.

  • Video access
    • Where are users physically located?
    • Which specific sites does each user need access to?
    • Do users need mobile access?
    • Is there a unified dashboard that can show camera feeds across all locations on one pane of glass?

Answering these questions allow your team to be prepared for today and the future by selecting a camera system that offers the ability to manage on-site and distributed workforces more easily.

How often are users actually using video?

Understanding how often users will need to access video footage is key to figuring out the proper camera system for an organization.

The following questions allow your team to make the right decision for your organization and can help streamline operational efficiency:

  • On average, how many hours per week does each user spend in the system?
  • On average, how many times per week does the user access the system?
  • What are the specific tasks they are completing in the system and about how long does each task generally take?
  • What other work could each user get to if they didn’t have to spend as much time in the system?

Conducting this analysis can shed light on how often your camera system is being accessed, understanding if high priority projects are getting completed on time, and what is needed to ensure high performing operations.

When this analysis is complete, you might find that your security camera system is being accessed more than you had expected, and that other important work is being put on the back burner because it takes users longer than they would like to complete their tasks in the system. It’s best to select a system that significantly cuts down the time it takes to perform each task. The faster a user can find and share footage, the better.

How time critical are your use cases?

Certain use cases are more time critical than others. For example, ensuring line productivity is mission critical for a manufacturing company, while keeping students safe is critical for a school.

In practically every case, there is tremendous value in instant response to incidents to minimize the adverse effects. For example, it’s much better to stop a thief before they leave the premises. And for a manufacturing company, it’s much better to identify a point of failure as soon as the manufacturing line goes down.

Asking the following questions about your organization’s use cases help understand what is needed in your next camera system:

  • Can each workflow wait to be executed after something has occurred, or does it need to be executed in real time to be valuable?
  • How long after an incident has begun to occur does the user have before they have to act?
  • Would proactive measures reduce or even eliminate the time criticality of incidents?

There is tremendous value in instant response to incidents to minimize the adverse effects. For example, it’s much better to stop a thief before they leave the premises. And for a manufacturing company, it’s much better to identify a point of failure as soon as the manufacturing line goes down.

The better a system is at allowing users to detect incidents instantly, the more valuable it is.

How much footage needs to be stored?

It’s essential for businesses to carefully consider their unique needs and legal obligations when determining the appropriate video retention period for their camera systems.

Based on the duration and variability of storage requirements, architectures will compare differently in their built-in ability to store video and their flexibility to accommodate evolving storage requirements.

  • When viewing footage, how far back historically do users need to go to support their workflows?
  • What resolution does the video need to be stored at?
  • Do you need continuous or motion only storage?
  • Is redundant storage necessary?
  • Is there any footage that must be stored in perpetuity?
  • Are there legal or compliance storage requirements that you must adhere to?
  • Are your storage needs likely to change in the future?

Answering these questions ensures you get security camera storage right the first time. With cloud capabilities the expectation, it’s important to understand how your organization will use cloud storage for video surveillance and all the uses you will need for security camera cloud storage.

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