If your small to medium-sized business (SMB) has reached the point where you’re looking to upgrade or replace your video surveillance system and the way that its managed, you’ve probably realized that this decision involves careful consideration. You’ll first want to analyze the various options available to you, but then comprehensively address numerous factors within your business to seamlessly ensure that your selection is the best fit.
If you’re planning on improving your current option to something that’s newer and becoming more common, you’re likely evaluating whether or not the cloud is right for you. And the reality is, the decision largely depends on the unique needs of your SMB. Carefully considering your organization’s overall business operations, strategy, and security goals is paramount in identifying the best option for your business.
We’ve outlined the points for consideration during your selection process.
1. An audit of surveillance needs.
This may seem like an obvious place to start, but there’s likely more detail involved in performing this task than you may realize. You’ll want to consider these questions:
- How often does your SMB need to view video?
- How many locations are you trying to manage?
- Do all of these locations need to be connected?
- Are there needs to connect surveillance to other systems, such as access control, event management, etc.?
The cloud makes sense for SMBs that don’t require extensive viewing but would prefer access to footage at all times and from any location. Along these lines, one important factor to keep in mind is bandwidth: Many SMBs do not have the bandwidth required for streaming footage from multiple IP cameras. However, if you do possess the appropriate bandwidth, the cloud is suitable for integrating multiple elements of technology into one centralized interface for streamlined management of all of the company’s locations.
2. An examination of your IT resources.
The more robust your SMB’s IT team is, the easier it would be for them to deploy an on-premise surveillance solution. But this typically isn’t the case, as many SMBs don’t possess a large staff of IT professionals. When looking at IT resources, it's beneficial to consider the following:
- Is our IT team familiar with complex data storage and management?
- Do we feel comfortable with their ability to protect our data from cyber risks?
- Does our company have strict policies when it comes to compliance regulations?
One of the main advantages of the cloud is that it shifts the responsibility of management to an integrator partner, easing the burden on the SMB. This creates benefits such as continued support and automatic updates for enhanced cyber protection. But this route may not be necessary if your SMB has a sufficient team in-house or prohibits video data from leaving the corporate network.
3. A look at the future.
In every decision that your SMB makes, it’s important to plan for both today and tomorrow. You don’t want to get stuck with a system that cannot grow and adjust as your business does. If you foresee business growth and expansion, you’ll want to select an option that can is scalable for an easy transition process. The cloud allows for rapid adjustment and agility, enabling business owners to gain increased insight into daily operations, no matter what stage or growth period your SMB is in.
Though making the decision to upgrade or replace your video surveillance option can be overwhelming, it is often necessary for both efficiency and security purposes. And if you’re making the switch to the cloud, your SMB will benefit from a centralized and modern solution that increases business insights and security.