Hosted physical security adoption is given a major boost by uptake in cloud, Morphean survey shows

New research into the impact of Covid-19 on physical security purchasing decisions has revealed a sharp increase in the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt hosted video surveillance (VSaaS) and access control (ACaaS) solutions. While 70 per cent of 1,000 senior decision makers in IT, security, FM and HR roles agree this to be the case, 78 per cent also anticipate their organisations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of Covid-19.

The independent survey, commissioned by hosted security provider Morphean, revealed that over three-quarters (76 per cent) of senior managers in UK, Germany and Sweden have increased their use of video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams); 65 per cent have increased their use of office applications (e.g. Microsoft 365); and 70 per cent of those in the security sector are now strongly inclined towards cloud adoption.

Fifty-one per cent say their company is currently using a cloud-based service for video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or access control (ACaaS). This is an increase of three per cent over 2019 (48 per cent) and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025.

Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean SA, commented: “The results highlight a hosted physical security market that will see strong growth in 2021 as cloud applications are proven to deliver business continuity in challenging times. At the height of the lockdown, many business premises were unoccupied and potentially vulnerable, but remote monitoring and maintenance made possible by hosted security were a welcome advantage. We also saw a spike in demand for frictionless access control enabling a totally hands-free experience and negating the need for physical contact. Business leaders will now be considering the learnings from the past year and looking to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs and make organisations more agile.”

Analytics will drive adoption 

For the security professional already working with cloud services, the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. Ninety-five per cent agree that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making (i.e. occupancy or test and trace analytics), it would influence adoption.

Flexible and remote working will grow

More flexibility in working locations is the benefit respondents are most likely to identify from moving business functions to the cloud (50 per cent), followed by easier collaboration (44 per cent); more cost-effective (44 per cent); safer / better security (38 per cent). Eighty-two per cent anticipate the levels/frequency of remote workers and flexible working in their organisations to be higher post-pandemic and in the longer term than they were pre-pandemic.

Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns. An access control solution which is linked to HR records, for example, can check the swipe of an access card against staff records. A staff member who is flagged as being on leave, absent or no longer employed will trigger an automated alert to the relevant personnel. Surveillance cameras also provide secondary authentication through visual clarification of an individual’s identity.

The ‘Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe’ is the third study of its kind by Morphean, and facilitates a better understanding of market trends with comparative data from 2018 and 2019.

Other key findings revealed by the study include:

  • Seventy-eight per cent anticipate organisational use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of Covid-19. The security sector reflected a strong inclination towards cloud adoption (70 per cent).
  • IT Services (52 per cent) and Commercial Offices (49 per cent) are the two sectors that anticipated the greatest degree of change in their organisation’s use of cloud technology.
  • Seventy-three per cent of managers believe their organisations are more inclined to adopt cloud as a result of their governments’ responses to Covid-19 – UK (74 per cent), Germany (71 per cent) and Sweden (73 per cent).
  • Twenty-seven per cent said physical security was optimised in their companies, a rise of four per cent on 2019 (23 per cent). The retail sector was least likely to say that physical security was optimised (19 per cent).
  • VSaaS/ACaaS uptake shown to be more prevalent in Sweden with 59 per cent already utilising such services, with 34 per cent in UK and 31 per cent in Germany considering it.

Zbinden concludes: “For the physical security reseller, the study will demonstrate that hosted security solutions must play a major part in expanding their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, a chance to forge new business relationships, and an opportunity to embrace future proof technologies in preparation for whatever challenges the future might hold.”

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