Q&A with Oktay Yildiz, Stratocast Line Manager at Genetec
Large-scale organizations—especially those with multiple locations dispersed across campuses or geographical areas—spend a lot of time and energy managing their complex infrastructures. If an organization is also in a state of hyper-growth, the challenges around infrastructure multiply.
When organizations experience hyper-growth, they frequently need to acquire spaces and set up facilities rapidly. This process can include everything from renting and furnishing offices or studios to stocking warehouses.
For many, it also means setting up physical security systems because, while commercial real estate organizations provide building security, that doesn’t include security for interior spaces.
So, one key challenge facing today’s growing organizations is how to secure a variety of distributed facilities across geographical locations in a way that is both efficient and cost-effective. Increasingly, these organizations are choosing cloud-based physical security solutions.
What challenges do large-scale businesses typically face?
In the past, a lot of large-scale organizations deployed disparate security systems at each of their individual locations. This created a lack of visibility and control over what they owned.
To keep track of their assets, many used Excel or Google spreadsheets to manage the hardware in their systems. They had a list of sites and another of system integrators and would manually crosscheck their lists when they needed to find a particular piece of hardware.
This made it difficult to manage and maintain their assets, which led to problems with updates in part because disparate systems followed different refresh cycles.
Organizations also had to spend significant time and money to have already overtasked IT staff travel to each location to manually repair or replace failing hardware.
With disparate security systems, organizations also faced problems around capacity planning. Capacity planning is always a challenge.
For example, each year, organizations have to estimate how much storage they need for their video. If the estimation is too high, they’ll pay for storage that they end up not using. But, if it is too low, they’ll incur the costs of having to ramp up storage very quickly.
This can be particularly problematic if retention requirements change. When this is multiplied over several locations, each with its own system, it can lead to significant budget waste.
Finally, having disparate systems also made deploying new or remote sites more difficult. As an organization experiencing hyper-growth expands into new areas, it can find itself having to set up environments from the ground up.
Installing and configuring infrastructure, including local DVRs and on-premises video management systems (VMS), can slow deployment. And it can be difficult to connect new locations with corporate networks.
Why are large-scale organizations migrating to a cloud-based VMS?
Having a true cloud-based VMS, like Genetec Stratocast™, eliminates many of these challenges. First, when you unify your entire security system across multiple locations and migrate to the cloud, you simplify infrastructure management. You have less hardware to manage, maintain, and upgrade because you no longer require servers at each location. And, because your data is stored in the cloud instead of on an on-premises server, it’s protected against hardware defects and theft.
It also reduces the burden placed on IT specialists because the vendor assumes the responsibility for all maintenance and upgrades on the components.
When IT specialists are no longer responsible for maintaining video storage and hardware, they can focus on core business activities that generate revenue and achieve corporate objectives.
With a highly scalable, true cloud-based VMS, you can easily adjust to changing business needs. Instead of being locked into capacity planning predictions, you are able to adjust storage capacity on the fly and pay only for the storage you use.
If retention regulations change, a solution like Stratocast will allow you to modify your storage within minutes and with minimal impact on your budget.
Another advantage is centralized monitoring. With Stratocast, cameras at remote sites send video directly to the cloud. Then, using the Federation™ feature, all video can be connected back to corporate headquarters where security personnel are able to use Security Center to monitor the entire organization from one location.
What are the cost benefits of migrating?
Migrating to the cloud allows enterprise organizations to realize significant savings in the short and long term. By eliminating on-premises recording and storage equipment, you lower both your upfront investment and total cost of ownership.
You can also save space in remote locations that do not require a dedicated server room. This can translate into saved revenue from reduced rent or increased revenue because you have more space for business-related activities.
For enterprises experiencing hyper-growth, a true cloud-based VMS also makes it possible to get the security system at a remote site up-and-running in hours instead of weeks.
By migrating to the cloud, you don’t have to wait for hardware to ship or spend time wiring, installing, and configuring the system. This significantly reduces the time to deployment and means that you don’t have to pay security guards to monitor facilities while the security system is being installed.
What about cybersecurity?
These days, many organizations have cloud-first policies that ensure departments fully investigate cloud-based solutions when they are upgrading their systems.
Organizations understand that moving to the cloud is a financially beneficial option that provides safe storage for valuable data.
With a unified system, there are no complex networking rules to establish, including port-forwarding or VPN configurations, that could weaken your local network. In addition, when you move video storage to the cloud you eliminate the use of recording servers, this significantly reduces the number of vulnerable surfaces that could compromise your network.