From government and large enterprise through to manufacturing and retail, IP security surveillance is starting to make a name for itself. Companies are increasingly migrating away from analogue closed circuit television (CCTV) systems to take advantage of investments in IP infrastructure and new network-enabled surveillance equipment.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the global network video market will be worth $US1.2 billion by 2010. The analyst firm puts increased need for IP surveillance down to a change in how organisations are capturing, storing and monitoring video. Strong interest in remote monitoring, running video analytics and integrating surveillance with other physical security systems is also pushing adoption.
But don't dismiss the older kit just yet. While early global projections claim companies are replacing existing analogue systems with IP surveillance, the reality is that many in Australia are mixing the two.
IP surveillance uses existing network and Internet technology to transmit images from analogue cameras and/or IP cameras over public networks. Top benefits include simplicity, scalability, remote access functionality and enhanced picture quality. Besides time-saving and superior overviews of facilities, faster response and evidence sharing, Alloys International network video products division product manager, Angelo Salvatore, said IP surveillance was also more cost efficient. "The open architecture of IP network software allows unlimited scalability to grow with your business needs and integration with other systems like access control, point-of-sale, ATMs or enterprise resource planning," he said.
However, the reality is that Australia's adoption of IP-based security surveillance has been dogged by the amount of legacy CCTV product entrenched in the Australian market, Salvatore said.
Digital Data Communications Group head of global public relations, Johan Villet, expects most organizations with analogue systems to integrate these with digital technology over the next three years to cap costs. "We have found organisations are not currently replacing their analogue systems as this is quite an investment and the current ROI of replacement does not justify the costs," Villet said.
"Customers without current surveillance opt for the IP solution because for future development and expansion on their surveillance system this will be more practical and cost effective."
Distribution Central marketing director, Nick Verykios, agreed the number of organisations replacing analogue with IP-based surveillance was low - for now.
"What many companies are doing is augmenting their analogue systems with an IP-based system, which is to predominantly monitor IT equipment," he said. "Many security vendors are also building this kind of surveillance into their offerings as a higher level of security - guarding the physical asset while the physical asset guards the data."
But with IP adoption the way of the future, companies should get their house in order and enlist the help of a network integrator familiar with IP hardware that has a keen business interest in security, Verykios said.
"It stands to reason that any company will eventually adopt a complete IP-based system for surveillance as they integrate this into the entire asset management and protection policy of their organisations," he said. "Why wouldn't you monitor and control physical movement in the same way you would other things? And IP-based monitoring from a management perspective - the video is just data after all - is so much easier, reliable, useful and storable."