Axis Communications released the findings of its U.S. Partner Integrator Survey, revealing how system integrators and their customers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis amidst uncertainty and instability in the marketplace.
The survey of 455 security professionals across education, government, retail, healthcare, transportation, hotels, stadiums, law enforcement and more, cited that end-customers will be more willing to explore IP-based solutions (58 percent) and the acceptance of AI will accelerate (45 percent) following COVID-19 crisis.
According to Fredrik Nilsson, vice president of Americas for Axis Communications, the survey was deployed to help its integrators understand what the new normal will entail.
“How can we help our partners and our integrators to do a better job, what additional opportunity might be out there, what additional challenges are out there, and to better understand [these things] so we can support them?” Nilsson said. “In any crisis, I think there's always a hope for looking for solutions. How can we actually help mitigate this crisis and make people safer or make work more effectively done?”
Nilsson said there is an increased interest and acceptance around integrated solutions that solve long-term security needs, enhance business operations and address health and safety measures
“The pandemic demonstrated a clear understanding that technologies that support business continuity and employee safety should be top of mind for everyone within the organization, not just security professionals,” Nilsson said.
The security professionals surveyed cited economic recovery in general (67 percent), supply chain management (49 percent), losing customers (37 percent) and shifting business models (30 percent) as the biggest business concerns due to the COVID-19 crisis. While 53 percent of system integrators stated a decrease in business during the pandemic, because they are designated as “essential critical infrastructure workers” the majority of integrators continued to work on projects the entire time and remain on the frontline serving end users amidst COVID-19 restrictions (70 percent). Twenty-eight percent of security business leaders said they have invested in digital transformation of workflows to address challenges amidst COVID-19 and support new, remote business operations.
“The results of our Partner Survey demonstrated that while there is still uncertainty about the evolving business climate, a strategic approach to technology adoption and integration is pivotal,” Nilsson said. “These insights help Axis to better support our partners and to provide pragmatic, innovative IP security offerings that drive long term return on investments for our customers.”
According to the survey, security professionals cited that their end-customers were most concerned with economic recovery in general (57 percent), human resource issues (43 percent), the ability to function remotely (42 percent), cost of ownership on long-term investments (25 percent), short-term return on investment (21 percent) and cybersecurity (19 percent).
“When people think about short-term survival, long-term initiatives do take the backseat and cybersecurity in this environment is as important as it was a year ago, because more and more people are working from home, which makes your laptops even more vulnerable for cyber attacks,” Nilsson said.
As businesses look to reduce COVID-related risks, security professionals cited the following concerns as being increasingly important for end customers to address: remote monitoring to lower personal contact (49 percent); access control for contactless entry (49 percent); the adoption of analytics for crowd management (35 percent); reduce high-traffic areas with heatmapping solutions (32 percent); and curbside pickup with analytics (23 percent).
In addition, Nilsson predicts that companies will need to revamp how they introduce new technologies in the future, since attending trade shows and performing large in-person demos are not the most viable options.
“I think it'll be a challenge, at least for the next six months, if not longer to make that happen,” Nilsson said.
The complete Partner Integrator Survey report can be found at www.axis-communications.com/us-en/covid-paper.