Why VSaaS and ACaaS should be an essential part of any digital strategy.
Morphean CEO, Rodrigue Zbinden, looks at the uptake of cloud services during the recent pandemic and explains why now is the time to explore physical security in the cloud.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented demand for cloud-enabled technologies across Europe. Such services have enabled people to stay connected and many businesses to continue to operate successfully. With enterprise-focused video conferencing mobile app downloads showing a weekly 90% increase in comparison to pre-COVID-19 figures, it’s clear that cloud services have proven invaluable in these challenging times.
Now, as the benefits of cloud technology become apparent, business decision makers will be considering the learnings from the past few months and looking to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs and become more agile in the long term. Digital transformation presents some enticing advantages for those companies that have been slow to adapt. The physical security industry will have witnessed how cloud infrastructure is not only cost effective and safe, but is also a force multiplier for connecting platforms, services and people with potent business benefits.
The future of cloud-based security
In today’s modern, connected world, dated security technologies, such as standalone CCTV systems and manually operated access control points, are giving way to their cloud-enabled successors. Video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS) and access control as-a-service (ACaaS) enable cameras and readers to be added to a network as IoT devices, bringing security systems up to date and representing a vital component in any modern, cyber-secure digital strategy. But better security is just one benefit of a much greater system that can bring real value.
Built in analytics, for example, that utilise the data from network video cameras and smart access control devices, produce valuable business insights that help to inform and automate decision making. In the recent pandemic, frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings; while occupancy tools have helped retailers adhere to strict government guidelines on social distancing. In addition, remote management and diagnostic capabilities allow security or operations personnel to check premises or make system adjustments at the touch of a button without needing to be physically present on site.
A flexible business model with recurring revenues
Both businesses and end customers who have already embraced cloud services found it easier to scale at speed when their circumstances changed. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on premises, a hosted solution offered greater dexterity, particularly in the face of operational challenges. Businesses are able to customise and scale quickly to meet ongoing need without the need for large upfront capital investment, instead, paying for the convenience as-a-service out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost.
This is the proven business model of cloud, yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. VSaaS is still
alien to installers and integrators used to selling hardware on narrow margins, reliant on existing financial arrangements with distributors to fund new equipment. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities.
This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the early stages of the crisis. Instead, convenient and recurring monthly payments will have put the installer on a firmer footing and guaranteed ongoing vendor support backed by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades to ensure delivery of a high quality service that’s always up to date and online.
Driving strategy forward
Cloud represents resilience and has proven its worth as a technology that can connect the world. Even the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems are coming round to its many benefits. VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success.
Now, the physical security reseller industry must apply the learnings to drive their businesses forward in the ‘new normal’ where hosted security solutions must surely play a major part to expand their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, and a chance to forge new business relationships to face the challenges of an ever changing world.