82% of schools and colleges in both the US and Northern Europe see a potential role for CCTV/video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to face-to-face teaching in school buildings and across further education college campuses, following the pandemic. Many schools and colleges have already adapted their video monitoring systems. For example, half (50%) of all those in charge of these systems had already adapted their existing video systems to help manage social distancing. A further 34% planned to use their systems for this purpose within the next 12 months. Video monitoring systems The AVA Security Education Sector Security Survey provides a wealth of data and insight linked to how Operations, Security, and IT directors and managers within educational establishments in the US, Norway, Sweden, and the UK, are adapting their video monitoring or CCTV systems in the wake of the pandemic. Nearly four of every 10 (38%) educational institutions were already using their video monitoring systems to trace all student, staff, and visitor movements in, out, and around their premises and grounds to protect everyone from infection. A further 46% planned to configure these systems for this same purpose within the next 12 months. Safe-specific video analytics Nearly a third (29%) was already using their existing video systems to help provide temperature level health checks at some building entrances. A further 43% planned to enable temperature checking via their CCTV systems within the next year. Interestingly, 41% had already deployed their video systems for reporting on class or lecture hall occupancy levels and people density levels in retail areas, dining facilities, and other leisure areas where students congregate. A further 41% said they were planning to add this capability via their video systems over the next 12 months. Contactless access control The education sector is a deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras Mask detection analytics is also being widely deployed in US and Northern Europe’s schools and colleges: 35% had already deployed video analytics software now available for alerting security staff when teachers or students are inside a building but not wearing a mask. A further 31% planned to deploy mask detection analytics within the next 12 months. However, the education sector is a more cautious deployer of facial recognition analytics in existing cameras to enable visual identification and contactless access control in the interests of reducing COVID infection via card touch-in gates. Only 22 percent of schools and colleges have deployed facial recognition to date, although this is set to more than double as 29% over the next 12 months. Reduced VMS costs The biggest challenge of supporting all these changes appears to be paying for them: 31% of those in charge of video monitoring systems had already seen a significant reduction in budgets available for upgrading and improving video monitoring capabilities in the last year. A further 29% had seen a small reduction in budgets over the same timeframe. A further 8% thought fresh budget cuts were likely in 2021. Cybersecurity has become a key IT priority As IT, Operations, and Security staff have had to run systems as well as teaching remotely during the pandemic, there has been an increased focus on cybersecurity to protect access to vital data and online learning resources. Just in the last few weeks, the University of Hertfordshire experienced a major cyberattack which led to the shutting down of key online learning apps including Zoom for students enrolled there. Over a third (35%) of educational institutions’ decision-makers questioned thought it ‘very likely’ that they would need to place a ‘larger focus on cybersecurity for all devices and applications that are networked’ as one impact of the pandemic. A further 48% thought an increased cybersecurity focus was ‘likely’. Linked to this, 27% of directors and managers running video security systems in schools and colleges saw an improvement to the video ‘system’s resilience and back-up systems/procedures’ as a ‘High Priority’ improvement that they needed to implement to protect video data this year, while a further 44% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Smarter, easier to use video systems There was some disquiet about the quality of existing video systems’ core capabilities, the Ava Security research found. For example, 29% thought it was a ‘High Priority’ to improve the speed of finding and retrieving video evidence after a security or safety incident. A further 40% saw it as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ to improve the systems’ retrieval capabilities to find ‘required footage of incidents easier and quicker. It currently takes too long.’ Further, 22% saw the need for ‘better integration between video monitoring camera systems and other security-related systems, such as access control or alarm systems’ as a ‘High Priority’, while over half (57%) saw wider security systems integration as ‘Somewhat a Priority’ now. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector were keen to make their video monitoring systems ‘more intelligent, using video analytics to support better post-event decision-making’ – placing this improvement as either a ‘High Priority’ or ‘Somewhat a Priority’. Cloud on the horizon 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration Others were more focused on Cloud Migration of more IT Systems. Over half (51%) confirmed that their cloud migration plans had been accelerated in 2020/21 and a further 32% confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud in the financial year 2020/21. That means that altogether (net) 73% of the education sector is experiencing accelerated cloud migration. Linked to this, the same study uncovered that 58% found ‘adoption of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) i.e., moving their video monitoring system into the cloud’, as a ‘net priority’ for improving and optimising their video monitoring systems looking forward. VSaaS selection criteria For the 82% of all education respondents actively considering VSaaS options right now, there were many criteria determining provider selection. Nearly nine out of 10 net (87%) considering VSaaS right now, agreed with the statement ‘It must have very strong cybersecurity, including end-to-end encryption from the camera to the cloud.’ The VSaaS selected must also offer a reduction in the ‘Total Cost of Ownership of our video monitoring system’, according to 48% of educational institutions considering migration to VSaaS. Further, 45% of decision-makers questioned insisted on greater ease of use, supporting the statement ‘It must be configurable and operable by non-IT people’. Third-party cameras While 24% of education sector decision-makers considering VSaaS, said it was critical that the provider was not headquartered in mainland China. A net 80% of video monitoring system decision-makers in the education sector also considered it important that the VSaaS selected ‘must allow us to continue using our existing third party cameras which we have already installed, we don’t want to rip & replace any equipment.' A net 80% considering VSaaS also confirmed ‘It must allow us to view their directly attached cloud cameras alongside our third-party cameras on the same interface’. Further, the same number of respondents (net 80%) considered it net important (either ‘very’ or ‘quite important’) that the VSaaS ‘must allow us to use our existing Video Management Software (VMS) or provide the same functionality as we get from our VMS’. Latest analytic capabilities An even higher number, net 84%, regarded it as important that the VSaaS selected ‘must enable us to run the latest video analytics capabilities such as occupancy levels for social distance management (in a room), noise analytics (e.g., breaking glass, screaming, yelling etc), people and vehicle search, object searching and colour searching’. Balance of power The Ava study also explored whether the events of the last year had prompted changes in terms of who looks after the management of video monitoring systems. There was some evidence in the education sector that as CCTV has increasingly been migrated onto the network, IT departmental control is increasing. According to the study, nearly a third (31%) of schools and colleges’ video systems passed more control of their video monitoring systems to their IT department – taking the total percentage of video systems run by IT in the education sector to 39%. However, security and/or facilities management still holds the balance of power in the running of these systems with 50%, with 24% gaining responsibility for video monitoring during the pandemic. Only 4% of systems confirmed they had fully outsourced video system management and 7% confirmed that more of the management, upgrading, and running of their systems had been outsourced over the last year. Workspace management technologies Ava Security also found evidence that the education sector is an early adopter of other workspace technologies designed to make it easier for students to manage the use of school and college facilities while minimising the risk of COVID infection. For example, 52% of educational institutions captured in the Ava study expressed interest in offering staff and students the capability of remote pre-booking of working areas in libraries, classrooms, and lecture halls and pre-registering students via mobile-ready apps. Nearly four out of every 10 people responsible for managing video monitoring in their school or college (38%) felt remote booking of extra cleaning of surfaces before or after classes would be a useful innovation. Cybersecurity is critical to VSaaS selection There is a strong determination to adapt existing school surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements" Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at Ava Security, commented, “The fact that four out of five education sector video monitoring system decision-makers are already actively considering VSaaS and weighing up criteria for selection is very encouraging." “There is also clearly a strong determination to adapt existing school video surveillance systems to new COVID-safe requirements. And the fact that a third (32%) confirmed that a new budget had already been allocated for moving more services into the cloud this year provides significant scope for optimism as we enhance our VSaaS offering with Ava Cloud Connector for example, which enables those running systems to plug existing third party cameras into Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform.” Cloud Connector Ava Security recently launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owners easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time video analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating them with Ava’s open Aware Cloud platform. Ava’s Cloud Connector eliminates the need to rip and replace existing video security devices to directly reap the cost and operational efficiencies of a true cloud service.
Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) innovator AVA Security found that more than four out of every five (82%) 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’. Video monitoring systems This was perhaps the most significant finding of the security industry’s first multi-national study of COVID-19 video monitoring system usage and upgrade impacts. Questionnaires for this reached decision-makers during March when many of them were in the midst of making final arrangements for the safe return of staff to organisations’ offices and work premises later this summer. In the US, 90% of respondents saw a role for video monitoring systems in supporting a safe return to the office, whilst that percentage fell to 72% in the UK and went up to an average of 94% across Norway and Sweden. IT Cloud adoption AVA Security’s research also uncovered acceleration in cloud migration of IT services which looks set to positively impact VSaaS adoption. Nearly four out of every five US firms (79%) have already accelerated their cloud migration plans during the pandemic. More than half of those have already secured an increased IT budget in the financial year 2020/21 for moving additional services into the cloud. In the UK, over half (51%) have accelerated cloud migration of services over the last year, again with over half of those already benefitting from increased budgets to complete cloud migration projects. Sweden and Norway together had an average of 84% seeing an acceleration of cloud migration of services, with over two-thirds of this group confirming a new budget had already been assigned to this activity. VSaaS demand led by the US Over three quarters (76%) of US firms with video monitoring systems regarded VSaaS migration as a ‘net high priority’ (marking it as either ‘high priority’ or ‘somewhat a priority'). That percentage was even higher across Norway and Sweden’s respondents at 90%. However, in the UK VSaaS adoption was favoured by just over half (51%) of security system decision-makers. Remote monitoring of assets AVA Security also revealed that four out of every five businesses predict an increase in remote monitoring of assets 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 12 months. There is no doubt that the spike in demand for remote management of systems and premises (because so many of us having to work from home) is set to continue apace: 78% 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 US at 83% and only slightly lower in the UK at 72%. Cybersecurity AVA’s study also uncovered the fact that 79% of firms declared it likely that their organisation would accelerate the migration of IT applications into the cloud over the next 12 months. The study also found that 80% of firms predicted an increased focus on cybersecurity for all networked devices and applications over the next 12 months. Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at AVA Security, commented, “Increased demand for remote management of IT systems is naturally feeding through to demand for cloud-based IT services as those running systems focus on speed of access to data, as well as increased cybersecurity to protect network infrastructure.” Video set for deeper integration The top priority for improving and optimising 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%) considered this a high priority for improvement. The next highest priority (jointly), for 77% of system owners, was improving their ‘system’s resilience and backup systems and procedures and ‘GDPR compliance procedures’ surrounding their video monitoring/CCTV systems. Video analytics adoption 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% of video systems. A further 32% of firms plan to deploy this video analytics capability in workplaces within the next 12 months. In the US, 54% of video system owners have already deployed people counting in their systems, whereas adoption is higher again in Norway and Sweden combined at 62%, although much lower in the UK at just 29%. Crowd density analytics People crowd density analytics runs a close second in terms of video analytics adoption People crowd density analytics runs a close second in terms of video analytics adoption, no doubt stimulated by COVID-19 safety requirements – 39% of organisations have already deployed this capability into their video surveillance systems. The US leads in terms of crowd density analytics usage with 57% of firms there using it, whereas a little less than half (44%) of Sweden and Norway-based video monitoring system owners have crowd density analytics capability. Only a quarter (26%) of UK system owners has so far deployed it. However, the UK is set to see a more than doubling of crowd density analytics deployments – 29% of system owners plan to deploy this in their video monitoring systems over the next 12 months. ANPR analytics user base Automatic Number Plate Recognition (called License Plate Recognition outside the UK) has seen similar levels of deployment: 35% of system owners across all countries captured by this study have so far deployed ANPR/LPR. Sweden and Norway together lead with an average deployment of ANPR between them of 52%. In the US that number is only slightly lower at 43%. Again, the UK’s adoption of ANPR analytics lags at a quarter (25%) of system owners. ANPR analytics, the findings suggest, is set to see rapidly increased take-up, in some cases doubling in terms of market penetration over the next 12 months. So, in the US, a further 43% are set to put in LPR analytics into relevant surveillance cameras over the next 12 months, whereas in the UK an additional 22% plan to install ANPR capability into their existing CCTV systems by March 2022. Increased VSaaS adoption Our new study reveals increased take-up of remote management and cloud-based IT services Vegard Aas, Head of Online Business at AVA Security, confirmed, “Our new study reveals a plethora of changes focused on increased take-up of remote management and cloud-based IT services which all bode well for the accelerating adoption of VSaaS.” “Managers running video monitoring systems are looking for greater functionality which the next generation of video analytics can now deliver. Some specific video analytics like crowd density and room capacity analytics is enjoying a COVID-19- linked uplift in demand simultaneously.” “Security system owners are also clearly looking for the tighter cybersecurity of video data. They also want more timely access to that data from wherever they are to help drive faster and smarter decision-making.” Cloud Connector Ava Security launched its Cloud Connector offering to enable video security system owner’s easy and cost-effective transition of video security solutions to the cloud. This brings Ava’s advanced real-time analytics and proactive security to existing surveillance cameras by integrating with the open Aware Cloud platform.