Security systems are a large capital expense for any business. There’s upfront deployment costs, maintenance, and the inevitable hardware upgrades. (Has replacing your analog cameras to IP been on your wish-list for a long time?) But your security needs don't have to hurt the bottom line. Cloud video surveillance and security systems are becoming the top choice for small to medium-sized businesses- those who typically have between 3-16 cameras per location.
Here are 8 characteristics of cloud-based security systems that make them more affordable, flexible, and easier to manage compared to on-premise solutions:
Lower setup and deployment expenses: A cloud-based deployment model doesn’t require the capital expenditure for traditional on-site servers. In addition, many add-on devices can be displaced by modernized software solutions. For instance, there’s no need to buy a text inserter if the video management software includes transaction integration.
Data Security: The physical location of a server doesn’t determine how secure it is so local storage isn’t inherently more secure. Cloud infrastructures have multiple layers of encryption in place and user authentication. The difference is that you don’t have to maintain the servers yourself or hire someone to do so: the cloud provider does this and the cost is shared among all the people using the service.
OTA updates (over-the-air): A cloud architecture allows software updates to be delivered wirelessly to your devices. Your system can be updated with bug fixes and security improvements without having to replace the existing hardware.
Access to data on the go: A huge time saver for multiunit restaurant owners is being able to access transactions, surveillance video, and other in-store data from anywhere. With cloud solutions, you’re not limited to viewing your data one store at a time or only when you’re on-premise. The systems should provide a secure web and mobile application to centrally manage your data.
Streamline processes: Another benefit of having a single platform for your data is reducing the complexity of investigations. You don’t need to sign in to multiple system, drive to your business location, or manually match POS to video data when investigating potential fraud in your business. Eliminating these inefficient processes saves countless hours of work.
Takes up less space: A cloud-based system would also help SMBs who simply don't have the space to place a dedicated server on-premise, like in the back office of a restaurant.
Remote system monitoring and support: In a cloud environment, your security provider can remotely monitor the health status of your system and notify you if there’s a problem, such as a camera going down. In such a case, a technician can try to fix the issue remotely before sending someone on location. Managing all systems from a central interface reduces on-site visits and improves response times to threats.
Scalability: Cloud-based security systems are easier to standardize and deploy across multiple locations. A great time to look into cloud security options is when you’re planning on expanding. Opening a new store is a big investment and this is one area where you can reduce the costs.
Reducing security-related costs is especially important in low-margin operations, like quick service restaurants. Managing your security and video through a cloud-based system frees up capital and time that can be redirected to customer service, marketing, and other areas that will help grow your business.