Why Cloud-Based VSaaS Makes Sense for Small Business Clients
Video surveillance as a service solutions meet increasing demands for a more mobile experience and offer a commercial response to the more residentially focused DIY cameras.
Perhaps the most effective means of protection that integrators can recommend to small businesses is a pervasive video surveillance system.
However, the rapid proliferation of vendors, product choices and technologies saturating the market in recent years makes it necessary to educate customers about the wide spectrum of appliances and system options.
In particular, systems integrators are now expected to advise customers on the benefits of making an investment in relatively new Cloud-based technologies, or to opt for more traditional, standalone surveillance systems.
By definition, the video processing, recording and management in a traditional surveillance system occurs directly on a server and hardware installed at the customer’s location to be accessed later via an active Internet connection.
A true Cloud, or video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) solution, involves onsite IP or existing analog cameras with video processing, storage and management performed in the Cloud; however, some solutions may offer a simple appliance for enhanced management, security and encryption of video streams before final delivery to the Cloud destination.
With the universality of remote access architected directly into many VSaaS platforms, such solutions meet increasing demands for a more mobile experience and offer a commercial response to the more residentially focused but popular Nest Cam, Ring, “nanny cams” and other offerings.
So, what do customers need to know? There are two primary points of concern for small businesses — cost of ownership and cybersecurity confidence — that should be at the forefront of dealers’ minds when making the case for a Cloud-based solution over traditional video surveillance.
Get Real About Cost of Ownership
In any small business, it’s no mystery that cost is always top of mind when evaluating new technologies. With which system will the business save the most in upfront and ongoing expenses?
The initial capital required to deploy a traditional video surveillance is fairly high, especially when considering the many hardware, software, wiring and associated labor components involved.
Installation fees may deter some buyers, as well as the largely unpredictable ongoing maintenance and support expenses that tend to increase as the system ages and certain appliances fall into obsolescence.
By contrast, because a Cloud-based/VSaaS system depends on a shared infrastructure environment, this keeps the upfront costs incredibly low; often, the only hardware investment required beyond the cameras is a low-cost bridge or appliance between the cameras and Cloud-based VSaaS solution.
Overall, the system’s simplicity means costs associated with maintenance tend to be lower than that of a traditional system, plus scalability and longevity are significantly enhanced.
While the monthly subscription payment structure associated with a Cloud-based solution may initially be a turnoff for some, this only means no large upfront fees and ongoing expenses can be easily anticipated, with an element of technical support often built into the fee.
The cost-conscious business owner will save on IT services, taking advantage of the ability to have new features and updates made immediately available on the VSaaS user interface.
Address Cybersecurity & Ease of Remote Access
To protect a traditional video surveillance system against any cybersecurity threats, all open ports and firewalls on all on-premises software and devices must be configured properly; any slight error can leave a customer exposed to attacks.
And, even with proper configurations, as new threats emerge, supplementary configurations are required, adding to customer costs and diminishing the budget available to spend on new technologies.
Additionally, maintaining cybersecurity in a traditional environment is further complicated by the introduction of remote access. Since remote access is a nonnative feature to most traditional video surveillance systems, data encryption in the communication bridge is rare and video quality erratic.
This can lead to privacy concerns and increasing system liabilities that can put a strain on customer and service providers as it relates to IT policies and requirements. VSaaS solutions are usually not plagued by the same vulnerabilities that on-premises appliances and firewalls have from unpatched software and open ports.
Most Cloud-based technologies are backed by dedicated cybersecurity teams that are constantly monitoring for new threats to provide timely updates and patches behind the scenes. This feature alone serves as one of the most significant benefits of a true Cloud video solution.
Cloud-based surveillance systems were designed to accommodate for remote access, with smooth video streaming, universal web browser and feature-rich mobile app support, as well as data encryption both along the bridge and at rest — checking off a box that is of utmost importance to customers in the current climate.
As consumer expectations have continued to trend toward the need for more mobility, integrators have necessarily found reason to follow suit. The evolution of video surveillance can, ultimately, save small businesses money, solidify system health and longevity, and protect their physical and data-driven assets.
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