News Poll: Majority of respondents use cloud

Video surveillance, analytics and storage listed as key usage by half
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—A majority of companies responding to Security Systems News’ latest News Poll said they are using the cloud, and selling more than ever, but several highlight difficulties in understanding the technology—either with employees or end users.

“The cloud is a great asset, but there are still concerns, mainly about security, connectivity and survivability of the companies involved. Some companies claim good security, but we only have their word. Connectivity problems can occur after natural events or due to sabotage,” Jerry Stuckle, president of SmarTech Homes, wrote in.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said that they are selling more cloud solutions than ever, and 35 percent said they are still considering how it would work for their business. “The cloud has a lot of appealing RMR streams, but our company wants to have our ‘ducks’ in a row before offering the services,” one reader said.

“We have adopted a few cloud-based products but they are still poorly understood by sales, technicians, and customers. [They are] not taking off yet,” said one reader.

Four percent said that cloud does not fit into their business.

These responses show more interest than when SSN last asked its readers about the cloud, in its May 2015 News Poll. In those results, 48 percent said cloud was being widely adopted and 25 percent said had some applications in security. Then, 27 percent of respondents had thought that the cloud has no place in physical security.

Fifty-four percent indicated that the top concern surrounding cloud technologies in physical security is cybersecurity and making sure company—and customer—information is protected. “While keeping data internal has its own risks, those can be more easily mitigated than when depending on external companies,” Stuckle said.

People still don’t fully understand cloud technologies, according to 31 percent of responses. Kevin M. Spagone, director of Reitman Security Search gave his insight from a staffing point of view, “From the perspective of executive search/staffing in the space we've seen significant client demand for cloud-fluent sales talent who can rationalize these solutions to the existing (traditional) end-user and channel partner.”

Spagone continued, saying the problem is “Similar to the challenges our industry had a number of years ago when talent lagged on the IP convergence curve. We're once again faced with the challenge of technology outpacing the baseline talent in the space.”

One respondent said that there are “Too many definitions of ‘the cloud’ and too many users and installers are not knowledgeable of all the options/uses.”

Fifteen percent said that the biggest challenge with cloud is either with bandwidth or other problems in applying it.

Video surveillance, analytics and storage are the best spaces for cloud in the industry, according to 50 percent. Twenty-seven percent said that cloud is well suited for access control technologies, and 23 percent see it taking hold among monitoring centers.