The trend to IP-based video surveillance is, by now, firmly established. The question is no longer “will IP-based equipment sales overtake analogue equipment sales?” In fact, IMS Research forecasts that 2013 will be the tipping point when world network video surveillance equipment sales overtake analogue video surveillance equipment sales.
The arrival of IP-technology has instead bought its own questions, and simultaneously changed the shape of the market place. With the emergence of IP-based technology, IT distributors and IT integrators are now increasingly competing with traditional security distributors and security integrators.
IMS Research recently published a report, ‘IP Trends in Security – A Survey of Systems Integrators and Installers’, which found that currently 80% of North American systems integrators and installers purchase some IP-based video surveillance equipment from IT distributors, and that this was expected to increase to 90% of system integrators and installers in three years time.
This finding complements the fact that increasingly IT distributors are looking to add video surveillance products to their product range in the next 18 months. This could be good news for the traditional IT integrators who are also looking to enter the video surveillance industry, as they will already have the established relationships with their IT distributors. However, many IT integrators are not looking to their distributors for the security knowledge they lack but are instead going directly to the manufacturers of the cameras they are using.
The available bandwidth for these IP-based technologies is still a limiting concern. Within North America, the USA has an average broadband speed of around 5,8 Mbps and is ranked 12th in broadband speed for the world. Despite the concerns with available bandwidth, broadband speeds are likely to continue to increase, leading to greater capability and greater expectations from the technology.
A key finding from the recently released ‘IP Trends in Security – A Survey of Systems Integrators and Installers’, is the influence IT managers have in the decision of what IP-based video surveillance products are chosen. IT managers were ranked ahead of other key influencers such as physical security managers, chief security officers and consultants in their ability to influence which IP-based video surveillance products are chosen.
One reason for this influence may be the fact that IT budgets are typically larger than the associated security budgets. Instead of security managers buying an IP-camera and speaking with the IT department about how to incorporate it into the network, increasingly the IT department will buy the security equipment from their budget and incorporate the device into their network.
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