There’s no denying that the cloud is booming in popularity. In fact, by some estimates, about 51 percent of all computer information is now housed within the cloud. As the benefits of cloud-based storage and features continue to grow, that number is only going to increase.
In the physical security industry, cloud-based services are also on the rise, with customers in all verticals realizing the incredible potential of remotely locating their IT data and functions. In 2016, the use of the cloud in physical security is expected to really accelerate, which gives value-added resellers (VARs) an opportunity to get on the cutting edge of this emerging trend. Here’s what you need to know now:
The Benefits of Cloud Storage
Cloud storage offers your customers a wide range of benefits. For today’s IP cameras, which feature high resolutions and advanced capabilities like video analytics, large storage capacity is a must-have. And many security customers don’t have the physical space or the funds to scale up their on-site storage accordingly.
For these clients, cloud-based storage makes the most sense. Surveillance customers in particular stand to achieve cost savings by sending their video data “to the cloud.” By storing video footage in a remote database, customers can cost-effectively scale up their storage in order to meet their ongoing demands, without the space requirements and financial commitment associated with on-site storage. This is particularly compelling for your customers who have evidence storage requirements, such as those in public safety or education who must retain their video data for a set period of time.
Enhanced Cloud-Based Features
Many cloud storage providers are also offering advanced features to their clients, including pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) control of cameras, as well as remote access from a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Remote access can be particularly helpful for your video surveillance and access control customers because it enables a new level of flexibility.
For example, the security staff at a large hospital could view access control alerts on their smartphones while making their rounds. Or the manager of a large retail store could remotely grant permission to an employee to enter the location if he or she left his or her keycard at home. Meanwhile, remotely accessing video surveillance feeds can help customers in a wide range of verticals keep a closer eye on the security of their locations, ensure employee compliance with company protocol, and even provide first responders additional context when arriving at the scene of a crime or emergency.
Protecting the Cloud
Even as cloud-based services continue to grow in popularity, you may encounter some customers who are nervous about the security of their data when they are not stored on site. However, today’s cloud services providers go to impressive lengths in order to ensure the safety and security of their clients’ data. Storing security data at a data center guarantees that the information is protected from a variety of threats, including power outages, natural disasters, and theft. In many cases, data centers are much more secure than a typical office building or campus server room, so your customers can rest assured that their assets are safe.
Leveraging Your IT Experience
As the physical security industry continues to move toward cloud-based services and Internet of Things integration, your IT experience is going to be increasingly important. With each new prospective customer, be sure to really highlight your IT expertise so that they can rest assured that any cloud-based services that you recommend will truly benefit their business.
What role does the cloud currently play in your VAR business? Are you planning to expand your use of cloud-based storage and features in 2016 and beyond?