Cloudy, with a chance of hosted video

The value of cloud computing and SaaS

5. Ease of use-Cloud computing solutions make life easier for security resellers and end-users alike. Much of the complexity takes place at the data center level, allowing end-users to benefit from pure functionality. Many hosted solutions are plug and play, meaning dealers don't have to have a network administrator on every installation. Auto-negotiation and remote firmware updates equal lower cost and less time per installation, which equates to more installations per day and more money in your pocket. Forget 300-page manuals and local software; hosted solutions are generally intuitive, allowing quick and easy access from anywhere. Increased accessibility to video footage drives business owners to pull up their smartphone or laptop on the fly. They can see when employees clocked in, out, and whether they were slacking the last hour of the day, as opposed to being able to only check the DVR or other recording solution when something has been stolen.

The forecast for you could be mostly sunny with easy, effective and affordable hosted video. When used effectively, those RMR dollars could come streaming in on your business as soon as today.

Head for the Clouds

Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn., recently forecast that revenue from Internet-based "cloud computing" will top $14 billion annually by the end of 2013.Revenue from businesses using software programs hosted online as services in the Internet "cloud" should tally $7.5 billion this year, a 17.7 percent increase from 2008, according to Gartner research director Sharon Mertz. "The trend toward cloud computing, or Software as a Service (SaaS), has accelerated during the economic crisis," she said.

Brian Lohse is the director of Business Development for Secure-i, a hosted video solutions provider based in Des Plaines, Ill. For more information, visit their Web site at