With the trend toward IP-based video surveillance by now firmly established, IMS Research is forecasting that 2013 will be "the tipping point," when global network video surveillance equipment sales overtake analog video surveillance equipment sales. Concurrently, the firm reports that, with the emergence of IP-based technology, IT distributors and integrators are now increasingly competing with traditional security distributors/integrators.
In its new report, IP Trends in Security – A Survey of Systems Integrators and Installers, IMS Research reveals that currently 80 percent of North American systems integrators and installers purchase some IP-based video surveillance equipment from IT distributors; this number is expected to increase to 90 percent of systems integrators and installers in three years’ time. According to the research, this finding complements corollary data suggesting that IT distributors are increasingly looking to add video surveillance products to their product ranges within the next 18 months.
IMS notes that this dynamic could bode well for traditional IT integrators who are also looking to enter the video surveillance industry, as they will already have the established relationships with their IT distributors. However, the firm notes that many IT integrators are not looking to their distributors for the security knowledge they lack, but are instead going directly to the manufacturers of the cameras they are using.
Additionally, according to the report, the available bandwidth for these IP-based technologies is still a limiting concern. Within North America, the U.S. has an average broadband speed of around 5.8 Mbps, and is ranked 12th in broadband speed for the world. Despite concerns regarding available bandwidth, IMS notes that broadband speeds are likely to continue to increase, leading to greater capabilities, as well as greater expectations, for the technology.
Another key finding from the report regards the influence IT managers have in the decision of what IP-based video surveillance products are chosen. IT managers were ranked ahead of other key influencers such as physical security managers, chief security officers and consultants in their ability to influence which IP-based video surveillance products are chosen.
IMS says that one reason for this influence may be that IT budgets are typically larger than associated security budgets. Instead of security managers buying an IP-camera and speaking with the IT department about how to incorporate it into the network, the data found that, increasingly, IT departments will buy the security equipment from their budget and incorporate the device onto the network.