Cloudy is the new sunny

Feb 28, 2018

Martyn Ryder, VP Sales and Marketing, explains why physical security integrators and installers should embrace the cloud to unlock benefits that could revolutionise their business

Cloud technology is now a mainstay in both our homes and places of work, so much so that many people often don’t realise the technologies we use on a daily basis wouldn’t be possible without this ‘sky high’ technology. At home, every time we watch a film on Netflix or listen to music on Spotify we are streaming data from the cloud. At work, every time we use Microsoft Office 365; have a meeting over Skype or send content via Dropbox, we are utilising cloud services. The question is, are we making the most of it?

Adoption of cloud technology shows no sign of slowing with an impressive 88% of firms utilising cloud platforms[1]. Furthermore, global cloud traffic is set to grow more than 3 times over the next five years and by 2021, 94% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centres, with only 6% processed in traditional data centres[2]. This is helping organisations enhance their overall IT strategy, as well as enabling employees to improve internal processes by having vital data and intelligence at their fingertips, 24 hours a day. But this trend isn’t reflected across all industries.

Could the cloud benefit the physical security industry too?

The is simple answer is yes, of course. The cloud has the potential to shine a light on everything it touches, opening companies’ eyes to data and information they didn’t even realise they had. Moving physical security to the cloud will help integrators drive new business opportunities and models. It will also assist IT departments that are looking for new ways to collaborate with security manufacturers and integrators to provide new and technically-advanced cloud solutions.

For several years, the security industry has been very sceptical about moving to the cloud and cited data security as a major drawback to the adoption of cloud solutions. That said, businesses are working through these concerns and the benefits of doing so reach far beyond the perceived risks. Now, with companies embracing cloud technology and downsizing internal data centres in favour of cloud services and external data centres, it is time for integrators to embrace the opportunities that cloud technologies deliver.

What are the benefits for integrators and installers?

Regarding physical security solutions, such as hosted video and access control, there are many benefits of a cloud-based solution for integrators and installers. So many in fact that the question should really be; why have they been so slow to adapt? These benefits include: ease of deployment; reduced installation times; a higher percentage of remote diagnostics; and new revenue opportunities such as video verification, virtual guard and managed access control. In the meantime, all of this will allow customers to free up key IT resources so that they can focus on what’s core to their business, without lowering their focus on security.

As an industry we shouldn’t fear the cloud. Instead, we should embrace the operational and efficiency benefits it provides. In the past, there have been perhaps unfounded claims that cloud technology is inherently insecure. However, it is in fact the opposite that is true. Systems deployed in the cloud are far more secure than onsite installations due to the multiple layers that need to be breached to obtain any data. With businesses embracing cloud in their day to day operations, now is the time for integrators and installers to work closely with IT teams to integrate physical security into their cloud strategy.