By: Mark Barbaric
Mark Barbaric is a security program manager for Convergint Technologies in Houston. He has been in the security integration industry for 15 years in both the U.S. and Canada. Mark has worked in the field as a construction manager, project manager, and an operations manager.
A security manager recently approached me with what would seem an obvious question to most security professionals:
“I know I should upgrade my aging analog camera systems to IP, but how do I justify the cost to senior management?”
Most security managers understand the added safety and security benefits of today’s high-tech video systems but struggle justifying the expense to their leadership for the capital required for major upgrades.
Some organizations can’t get past the “good enough” mentality; they believe their analog video system provides an adequate level of protection of their people, property, and assets. However, a look at ROI and cost-benefit analysis provides a stronger argument that IP cameras provide much more than just better security.
Some of the major reasons behind the wide acceptance and adoption of IP camera technology include:
When the time comes to pull up video feed of an incident for the investigating authorities, what will you do if the video does not distinguish facial features? Is it too dark or too bright due to changing environmental conditions? Or you are unable to digitally zoom in on the video to see the license plate of that suspect vehicle? Would you at least feel less responsible knowing that you had proactively made the recommendation to upper management to upgrade prior to the event?
Data Loss Protection
With analog systems, local DVRs and tape backup systems can be lost, damaged, or stolen. Lack of local accountability can leave security systems without backups and in disrepair. IP video systems offer off-site, redundant, and cloud-based storage, and IP cameras can offer better data encryption to ensure only those who need access can get access, when and where they need it.
Availability of Parts
Just as it has become difficult to find parts for our favorite cassette recorders, typewriters, and dial-up modems due to lack of consumer demand, availability of analog cameras will decrease as manufacturers issue end-of-life notices for those product lines. Ask any classic car enthusiast who will gladly tell you how hard it is to find inexpensive parts to keep their prized cars running indefinitely.
Geek alert! Technology can be cool… and save a business money. Intelligent license plate recognition, cross-line detection, recording video on motion detection, people-counting, and real estate space utilization boast numerous case studies on how real the ROI has been proven to the bean-counters.
Greater Cost Benefit
IP cameras and video systems are rich in available features. Despite a higher initial camera cost than anaolg, IP systems get more cost-effective as the system grows.
Video storage scalability, reduced localized recording equipment, versatile installation methods (wireless, IP over Coax, network cabling), and the ability to view cameras live from anywhere in the world including mobile devices make IP video systems the preferred choice for medium to large businesses.
Modern IP video systems can even proactively monitor equipment failure, network bandwidth optimization, and efficiency.
Convergint can help you navigate a crowded and complex market. With a thorough understanding of the big picture and experience with all leading products, we can help define your technical requirements and have the experience to recommend different cameras models for different applications. We can even recommend ways you can phase in your upgrade over time to avoid the upfront capital cost.