A new U.S. and Northern European market study by Ava Security reveals that COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for cloud-based services, including Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS).

 Ava Security found that 82 percent of IT, operations, facilities management and security systems decision makers employed by medium and large-sized businesses see a potential role for their workplaces’ video monitoring systems in supporting corporate plans for “a safe return to the workplace post-lockdown.”

The survey was conducted during March 2021 when many decision makers were in the midst of making final arrangements for the safe return of staff to organizations’ offices and work premises later this summer.

In the U.S., 90 percent of respondents saw a role for video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to the office, while that percentage fell to 72 percent in the U.K. and went up to an average of 94 percent across Norway and Sweden.

Ava Security’s research also uncovered an acceleration in cloud migration of IT services which looks set to positively impact VSaaS adoption. Nearly four out of every five U.S. firms (79 percent) have already accelerated their cloud migration plans. More than half of those have already secured an increased IT budget in the 2020-2021 financial year for moving additional services into the cloud.

In the U.K., more than half (51 percent) have accelerated cloud migration of services over the last year, again with over half of those already benefiting from increased budgets to complete cloud migration projects.

Sweden and Norway together saw an average of 84 percent; seeing an acceleration of services moving to the cloud with over two-thirds of this region confirming an increased budget already assigned to this activity.

More than three quarters (76 percent) of U.S. firms with video monitoring systems regarded VSaaS migration as a “net high priority” (marking it as either “high priority” or “somewhat of a priority”).

That percentage was even higher across Norway and Sweden’s respondents at 90 percent. However, in the U.K., VSaaS adoption was favored by more than half (51 percent) of security system decision makers.

“Our new study shows that a vast majority of companies both in the U.S. and Europe are getting used to remote work and monitoring, and accelerating their transition to cloud services,” said Vegard Aas, head of online business at Ava Security. “Both to leverage new smart analytics to support the safe reopening of workplaces, and to increase efficiency. Managers running video monitoring systems are looking for greater functionality like people counting, crowd density and room capacity analytics, to meet the new requirements with COVID-19. They want more timely access to that data from wherever they are to help drive faster and smarter decision-making. And linked to this, tighter cyber security of video data is seen as increasingly important.”

Ava Security also revealed that four out of every five businesses captured in its multi-national study, predict an increase in remote monitoring of assets, processes, and people on their work premises over the next 12 months.

There is no doubt that the spike in demand for remote management of systems and premises (because so many have to work from home) is set to continue apace: 78 percent of firms predicting that it was likely they would increase their remote management capability over the next 12 months. That figure was slightly higher in the U.S. at 83 percent and only slightly lower in the U.K. at 72 percent.

Ava’s study also uncovered the fact that 79 percent of firms declared it likely that their organization would accelerate the migration of IT applications into the cloud over the next 12 months. The study also found that 80 percent of firms predicted an increased focus on cybersecurity for all networked devices and applications over the next 12 months.

The top priority for improving and optimizing existing video monitoring systems on both sides of the Atlantic was to integrate them ‘better with other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’— nearly four of every five system owners (79 percent) considered this a high priority for improvement.

Next highest priority (jointly), for 77 percent of system owners, was improving their “system’s resilience and back-up systems and procedures” and “GDPR compliance procedures’ surrounding their video monitoring/CCTV systems.”

People counting (including room capacity monitoring) is the most heavily deployed smart analytics tool right now on both sides of the Atlantic, the Ava study found. Across all four countries captured by the study, the average deployment of people counting stood at 43 percent of video systems. A further 32 percent of firms plan to deploy this video analytics capability in workplaces within the next 12 months.

In the U.S., 54 percent of video system owners have already deployed people counting in their systems, whereas adoption is higher again in Norway and Sweden combined at 62 percent although much lower in the U.K. at just 29 percent.

People crowd density analytics runs a close second in terms of video analytics adoption, no doubt stimulated by COVID-19 safety requirements – 39 percent of organizations have already deployed this capability into their video surveillance systems.

The U.S. leads in terms of crowd density analytics usage with 57 percent of firms there using it, whereas a little less than half (44 percent) of Sweden and Norway-based video monitoring system owners have crowd density analytics capability. Only a quarter (26 percent) of U.K. system owners have so far deployed it.

However, the U.K. is set to see a more than doubling of crowd density analytics deployments — 29 percent of system owners plan to deploy this in their video monitoring systems over the next 12 months.

For more information, visit Ava Security’s website.