Surveillance as a service to get stronger

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 20, 2013


Cloud computing is transforming the entire IT industry. The flexibility and adaptability of the cloud, especially the software as a service (SaaS) model is opening doors to new offerings in cloud computing services. The surveillance market at the same time, is also undergoing major transition. Enterprises are now looking for the next level of SaaS in the form of video surveillance as a service (VSaaS).

VSaaS takes video monitoring into the cloud, as video from customer IP cameras or webcams is transmitted to the service provider’s cloud infrastructure. Although the VSaaS market is at a nascent stage, experts believe that it has much potential to revolutionize the entire security and monitoring landscape, gradually replacing the traditional close circuit TV (CCTV) systems.

A huge global market

According to a latest research by IMS Research, the global video surveillance as a service market is expected to grow from $474.0 million in 2011 to $2.39 billion in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 31.5 per cent.

“Surveillance as a service is gaining acceptance globally as businesses are looking for an open standard, on-demand cloud service offering for their security needs, mentions Sam Grinter, Research analyst at IMS in his report. He believes that the IP-based surveillance system can yield a much higher ROI and offers a greater level of security and remote monitoring and analytics capability.

However, Grinter believes that it will take a while for surveillance as a service to get a wide global acceptance, especially in the mid-market segment. Another report estimates the VSaaS market for SMBs to be pegged at less than $50 million. The adoption scenario is even worse among smaller enterprises in the emerging countries.

The ongoing service cost and lack of knowledge to act as hindrance in the growth and adoption of this technology. Grinter points out nterprises must justify why they should invest in an IP surveillance solution. However, research also proves that with demonstrations and trial deployments, solution providers can attract the mid-sized companies.

Indian market to mature

If we take for example the India market, there is enough growth potential. However, IP surveillance may not replace CCTVs soon, a much cheaper option to businesses. Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager – India, Axis Communications informs that there is 30 to 35 per cent penetration of IP surveillance in India compared to the global average of 50 to 55 per cent. “The transition from the analog CCTV to digital is an ongoing challenge, as the awareness level is still low in the country,” he says.

He points out the problem with this industry is lack of standardization and benchmark unlike other technologies for example, security and networking. Axis which has 30 per cent share in the VSaaS market, constantly educate partners on the enterprise benefits of the technology. “We are also working in the area of video analytics which will gain prominence in the coming years and help enterprises make informed decisions,” says Holla.

To capture diverse business segments, companies such as Axis, D-Link and Logitech are bringing to market lower cost cameras to be used as a video monitoring source with innovative features. Axis, for example, provides a rich set of APIs that allow service providers to add an enhanced management layer to control sets of installed cameras. The company is diversifying into new sectors like transportation, city surveillance, critical infrastructure, banking, education and retail. Similarly D-Link’s latest IP cameras come with a built-in microphone enabling users to hear out critical conversations.

At present, the technology is costly for small and mid-sized organizations where infrastructure and costs often limit the flexibility of their installations. However, with IP cameras showing signs of price reduction and user friendly installation capacities, there will be a much wider adoption of surveillance as a service in the next one year.