Big business loves big data. Data is the fuel needed for today’s enterprise to move forward or to change direction. Video is simply more data. As security video has moved away from analog streams stored on tapes toward the ones and zeros more familiar to data analysts, businesses have been eyeing video with the intent to find a way to pair video data with other business data to gain even deeper operational insights. Data garnered from the exploding IoT, advancements in AI, and refined video analytics algorithms have brought us to the point where the titans of data can effectively use video as one more set of data points to feed into the decision making processes.
Since this has been a long time coming, let’s first address the “why now” question. Video data has been recognized as having huge potential, as it relates to business operational insights, for decades. It has heretofore proven to be ineffective in delivering the dreamed about benefits. So, has the time finally come that businesses can leverage the mountains of video data they have stored, and are continually storing, to make better business decisions? Andreas believes that the time has, indeed, come and it has come largely because of today’s cloud technologies.
In a recent blog post, Kelly Kucera, Arcules Head of Commercial & Marketing, said “As part of my personal mantra, I believe everything is connected… In the past few years, we’ve seen digital transformation through everything-as-a-service, consumer IoT, voice assistants and more. The way we live is rapidly changing, but as technology evolves, we can count on becoming more connected. In part, we have the cloud to thank for that.” She goes on to itemize five reasons why the modern enterprise is ready for intelligent video IoT in the cloud. They are:
- The cloud has more bandwidth
- Freedom to explore artificial intelligence and smart IoT
- Everyone wants to grow
- All eyes are on cybersecurity
- Security teams are IT professionals are converging under CIOs
Andreas explained that invariably businesses today have access to enormous amounts of raw video data but largely they are uncertain of how this data can help them with much more than the obvious forensic value related to security purposes. Video analytics can help businesses process a wider range of inputs and turn this visual information into insights that drive business decisions. Advancements in IoT and machine learning have turned cameras into powerful devices with capabilities far beyond surveillance. Software algorithms make it possible for video analytics tools to aggregate data from several video and IoT data feeds to deliver the behavioral insights of a group of shoppers, while high-quality image processing eliminates the ambiguity in facial recognition.
Andreas cites, as examples of advanced analytics, the increased security provided by the machine learning of Apple’s Face ID software as well as Amazon’s cashier-less shopping. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
IoT applications also offer significant value when incorporated into video camera analytics, helping businesses reach sophisticated security decisions much faster. Investing in solutions like fog computing enables businesses to analyze time-sensitive data right where the action is, generating faster response times that can improve output and service levels.
If nothing else, Andreas would like businesses to understand that as they continue to explore the benefits of video surveillance, they will need to employ the appropriate tools to help their IT and security teams turn raw data into actionable business insights. With the right systems in place, big video data can provide enterprises with valuable information that drives smarter decision making and supports rapid business growth.
Steven Bowcut, CPP, PSP is the Editor-in-Chief for Brilliance Security Magazine