The future of physical security in a cloud-enabled world

28 Jan 2020

Business operations are increasingly orchestrated using cloud environments, which offer easy customisation and scalability while delivering improved security and functionality at lower cost.

IT departments have long acknowledged the advantages of cloud over on-premise, but it is the physical security industry that now stands to reap the benefits of network-connected surveillance and access control systems, if the IT reseller community doesn’t get there first.

Morphean recently commissioned an independent survey of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe to gain a better understanding of purchasing intent for evolving security provision in the 2020s. The findings formed the basis of a new whitepaper: 2019 Landscape Report: Hosted Security adoption in Europe. IT is revealed to be increasingly responsible for security purchasing decisions within organisations. As many as 84% of IT managers currently use, or are considering using, cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) or access control (ACaaS) systems, illustrating the demand for such services.

2019 Landscape Report: Hosted security adoption in Europe

Integration of physical and cloud

Initial security fears around the use of cloud technologies appear to be waning, with safer / better security ranked among the main benefits of cloud. When we consider that half of IT managers reported data security as a priority for improvement in the next 12 months, and that cost effectiveness and greater flexibility are also given as major benefits of cloud by 47% of respondents, we expect to see a greater proportion of the circa 31-33% (2018-2019) of IT budget being spent on cloud services in the 2020s.

Of the IT managers considering VSaaS and ACaaS security systems, 79% anticipated introducing these services within the following 12 months and nearly 8 in 10 said that integration with existing platforms or emerging technologies would also accelerate adoption. With IT managers increasingly responsible for physical security provision, it’s essential that physical security vendors are adapting to the shifting technology landscape to effectively addresses today’s security challenges.

Improving operational performance

Our survey revealed that 36% of IT managers identified operational performance as a priority for improvement within the next year. The many ‘pay-as-you-go’ cloud services and solutions available today, that are already the preference of the IT department, support this aim. Not only does the cloud facilitate leaner decision-making being more scalable and customisable, and support adapting to the changing business landscape more readily, it also becomes an operational expense removing large scale capital expenditure on on-premise IT equipment, freeing up capital to invest elsewhere.

Results also revealed that 77% of IT managers reported that physical security was not optimised within their organisations, with as many as 20% identifying it as a priority in the coming year. When we consider this in the context of the GDPR there is increasing pressure on organisations to invest in well-designed products and services that have clear lifecycle support, presenting an opportunity for providers who can demonstrate impeccable security credentials and a thorough understanding of cybersecurity principles.

Review the approach to cloud

The appetite for cloud-enabled physical security presents a dilemma. The fact that demand is increasingly being driven by the IT department, who are likely to turn to the providers of their cloud-enabled infrastructure to also take care of their physical security requirements, means that traditional security vendors and installers effectively run the risk of being bypassed.

In a rapidly evolving market it’s essential that the physical security industry reviews its approach to the cloud, making VSaaS and ACaaS a key part of its offering to meet the requirements of the customers who are requesting these services and systems. With this approach it’s possible to remain relevant in a world which is increasingly reliant on cloud technologies for all of its business and security needs.