Tue 10 Mar 2020
Does your surveillance system meet the needs of your organization?
Video surveillance systems are consistently evolving and improving, which means that there are frequently new technology developments available in the market which you aren't taking advantage of. Recent developments in the sector include the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make security systems act more intelligently and independently: freeing up operators’ time which might currently be spent scrolling through hours of video to locate one incident or suspect.
You may have been using your current system for a while and think that an upgrade could be a hassle; perhaps in terms of the investment required or the difficulty for operators to learn a new system. But what might you be missing out on?
There are several simple questions you can ask yourself to assess whether your existing system should be optimized in order to meet the needs of your organization:
How are you currently spending your security budget?
If you don’t know the answer to this, you should conduct an audit as soon as possible. You need to know where your outgoings are being invested, or you can’t monitor and control your budget against your security objectives. For example, if you are asked to reduce the money you spend on security annually, you need to know how much of your budget is spent in different areas, to give you the opportunity to distribute your investment differently. You can’t make important financial decisions without this knowledge.
An audit might also bring attention to areas where you are currently over-investing on defunct technologies and systems which are surplus to requirements.
Where are your site's high-risk areas?
Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras can be programmed to move, zoom and focus when they detect movement, which helps to make manual tasks more automatic. This means your operators can spend more time helping people, rather than monitoring video screens all day. If there are key geographical areas on your site that are often targeted or are common locations for incidents, you need to look at these first to see whether you can update the technology to make this area safer, for example by installing PTZ cameras. You need to make sure that your security cameras can view and monitor all of your site’s most vulnerable areas, and if it doesn’t now then you may need to look into upgrading your hardware.
Could you save time (and money)?
If your operators say that they spend far too much time trawling through security footage, then you should look at how to make your security system behave more intelligently and efficiently. For example, the creation of alarm triggers as part of your automated system can help to alert operators and direct their attention immediately to the location of an incident, rather than having to monitor all areas of the site in real time.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides opportunities to create even larger efficiencies and add automation into your security system – for example, with detectors to automatically recognize specific types of vehicles, or people based on the clothing they are wearing. The ability to automatically highlight individuals wearing a specific coloured jumper can save hours of manual operator time when trying to locate and identify a suspect.
A simple but vital question to ask yourself is whether your operators know how to properly use your security system. A lack of understanding of security system features and integrations could lead to issues when trying to solve incidents, from being unable to locate the correct footage or an inability to respond quickly to emergencies, for example.
Is your security system providing operational benefits?
Your surveillance system no longer has to be used solely as a security measure, and organizations worldwide are finding that integrating analytics into their software can help them to improve operationally as well. For example, heat mapping software can provide an accurate representation of footfall on sites as varied as shops and casinos, to airports and cities, which can enable operations managers to make a variety of business-related decisions, for example where to locate shops and invest in retail outlets.
Keeping up to date with the latest developments in surveillance systems is vital in order to ensure that your security solution is fit for purpose within your organization. The above questions will get you thinking about the current requirements for your surveillance system, so you can analyze your security objectives more comprehensively and decide how to meet these over the long-term. To learn more, click the link below: