These are two aspects that will continue to drive the electronic security market in 2020.
by Per Björkdahl*
Users of security systems have been willing to sacrifice certain aspects of security for convenience and ease of use. However, as the security industry continues to advance and users continue to demand robust security in an intuitive package, the gap between these two extremes is rapidly closing.
In 2019, cybersecurity concerns continued to be a central theme. The industry responded well to the sudden rise in cybersecurity issues, with a growing list of companies having well-defined processes. Some companies offer large-scale cybersecurity programs, while others simply consider end-to-end encryption when designing a system from conception to installation. The user community is quickly learning that cybersecurity is not an isolated technical challenge or threat, but rather an ongoing commitment to having security processes and policies in place and up to date.
This recognition that cyber best practices need to be in place, regardless of the system's focus, is contributing to an increase in demand for integrated solutions that can be easily monitored. In 2019, we've seen a growing interest in interoperability down to the system-to-system level, not only within the security industry, but also in neighboring industries, where IoT prospects have dramatically improved schools, government, and smart homes. As such, the industry has matured in its relationship with IoT. Now we can only imagine how IoT will play a role in smarter and more secure system implementations in the future.
Specifically in the IoT space, the security industry is making the shift to really embrace the cloud. Global spending on infrastructure and public cloud services is forecast to reach $210 billion in 2019, an increase of nearly 24 percent over 2018. Ready or not, the cloud is already having its impact on the industry.
With cloud-based access control, credential management is more accessible, flexible, and easier to manage. Cloud connectivity provides the ability for a small business owner to grant and revoke access rights, create schedules, and monitor their access control system from a remote location. The video surveillance side of the market benefits from the cloud because it helps improve functionality through analytics, as well as better battery utilization at the device level and bandwidth management.
In addition to IoT, the industry has also matured in other ways. Complicated things like integrations and interconnectivity have been simplified, maintaining the integrity of the system. Integrators and manufacturers in particular have a real opportunity here, especially in markets like schools and governments that require a greater need for efficiency, which can be achieved through smarter integrations.
ONVIF plays an important role in providing these integrations easier and smarter. Our profiles are widely known throughout the security industry as standards by which products can communicate to communicate with each other and allowing devices and customers from different manufacturers to perform basic (but ever-growing) sets of functions. Enabling interoperability between manufacturers' products provides higher levels of choice, resulting in best-in-class solutions customizable to individual user needs.
About ten years and six profiles later, we have developed other tools to aid in the connected platform approach. Some innovations are standalone features, which were not intended for a specific profile or other functions that emerged as a fortuitous byproduct of something else. In any case, our ONVIF Core Specification is filled with these additional tools that can enrich the industry, perhaps in different ways than some of our profiles.
One of our most recent examples is Export File Format, which provides the ability to export video files recorded in a common format and also provides a video player with which the clip can be played. While it certainly serves an important function, particularly for the law enforcement community that needs the ability to access video streams from multiple sources in the event of an incident, the export file format is not included in any specific profile. Rather, it is a feature contained in our Core Specification, and ONVIF members are free to implement the feature as they wish.
In many ways, the market has matured to the point where things should continue to work as usual in 2020. Continued advances in AI/deep learning and growing cloud adoption will continue to drive efficiency, intelligence, and connectivity improvements for distributors, integrators, and most importantly, end users, to help improve security, prevention, and response awareness.
* Chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee.