Where does a hybrid cloud VMS model make sense?

July 16, 2020
Enterprise environments could benefit immensely from a mix of on-prem and cloud solutions

At this point in the evolution of the security industry, it’s safe to say that cloud-based services are the future for both small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprise organizations. As technology continues to revolutionize how we complete tasks and make decisions, a greater level of connectivity and interoperability is driving enhanced processes and services — and the cloud is one of the most prominent developments of this revolution.

As more and more companies start to realize the benefits of the technology and strive to become a modern enterprise, we’re seeing an increasing desire to transition video surveillance and data storage to the cloud. This effort facilitates the transformation toward becoming modern by enabling an enterprise to become one that is comprehensively prepared, efficient and proactive with technology developments and usage, while still continually adopting efficiencies that benefit the overall organization.

Many of today’s enterprises are on the cusp of this concept, but they require a strategic approach to help bridge the gap between their on-premise video management solution (VMS) and a fully cloud-based service. As an organization considers its current technology needs, goals for security and business operations, and the future of the business, a hybrid cloud VMS model arises as a flexible option for a smooth transition.

Hybrid Cloud 101

Before we take a look at the ideal use case of a hybrid cloud model, it’s important to clarify its definition; after all, there are still misconceptions throughout the industry around what exactly the cloud means. The good news is that hybrid cloud is pretty simple: According to Google, hybrid cloud is “a setup in which common or interconnected workloads are deployed across multiple computing environments, one based in the public cloud, and at least one being private.”

Acting as a stepping stone before advancement to the highest level of cloud adoption, a hybrid model gives the user the best of both worlds when it comes to security, allowing for a mix of on-premise video technology and cloud services. As the most popular form of cloud deployment, hybrid models enable users to achieve uniform access to live video, recordings and alarms across cameras connected physically on-premise and virtually via the cloud. This then leads to increased functionality options without compromising on feature-rich and powerful video surveillance that is critical to today’s modern organizations.

The Case for Hybrid in the Enterprise

Leveraging a hybrid cloud VMS would make sense for many different types of organizations, but in particular, this model benefits businesses that require streamlined and efficient communication and information sharing between the company’s headquarters and satellite offices or sites — seen in markets such as healthcare, retail and utility environments. A hybrid cloud VMS can provide several advantages for businesses in these areas, such as:

  • Centralization. Enterprises are often composed of several dispersed locations, which can make complete visibility into activity and vulnerabilities across the entire landscape a challenge. Hybrid cloud VMS addresses this aspect by granting remote and immediate access to these facilities, enabling security operators to quickly view video and other security data collected from cameras at multiple sites. This then enables organizations to shift their risk management strategies from reactive to proactive, as the ability to remotely access the platform from any location increases situational awareness and response times to potential threats.
  • Scalability. The goal of most enterprises is to continue growing — whether through physically adding more business locations or internally evolving operational processes and technology — and a hybrid cloud model sets them up for the future in this regard. With a hybrid cloud VMS, users eliminate the need for expensive hardware at dispersed sites, making it cost-efficient to expand surveillance operations. New remote sites can be easily and quickly deployed with limited IT resources, promoting efficient business expansion.
  • Flexibility. The hybrid cloud model is inherently flexible, creating numerous benefits for enterprises. Workloads can be divided based on demand, such as the cloud solution taking over in the event that demand increases and exceeds the limits of an on-prem solution. This complementary balance also extends to the level of control that the user maintains, as organizations can still manage decision-making and data handling while benefiting from features such as automatic updates and continuous support from the cloud provider.
  • Simplicity. In today’s day and age, no one wants technology that’s complicated to use. A hybrid cloud VMS can be set up and configured quickly and remotely with streamlined maintenance and easy onboarding. Additionally, an intuitive user interface can streamline deployment and user training, ensuring that everyone in the enterprise is on the same page and can efficiently leverage the solution from any location or device.
  • Service. The service-based model required for a hybrid cloud VMS implementation opens the door to a variety of advantages for an enterprise. Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) paves the way for a reduced initial investment and better operational costs, as well as the ability to extend the relationship with the manufacturer beyond product deployment. This allows enterprises to experience valuable support, consistent cybersecurity/software upgrades and efficient data management.

It’s no wonder that last year, 74% of enterprises described their strategy as hybrid/multi-cloud. Leveraging a hybrid cloud VMS can allow enterprises to simplify large-scale deployments, obtain real-time insight into the event of an incident and enhance surveillance operations with centralized management. By combining the best elements of on-prem and cloud solutions, hybrid cloud acts as an anchor in the transformation between today and tomorrow.

As we move forward, the future of physical security and surveillance will be built on determining the greatest risks to an organization and tailoring solutions to match — and there’s no doubt that a hybrid cloud VMS does just that. Aside from its ease of use and operational benefits, perhaps most importantly, this type of VMS allows organizations to enhance risk mitigation and security efforts while also augmenting everyday business operations. The intelligence garnered is unprecedented and can be acted upon immediately, which is crucial when it comes to defending against today’s risk landscape.

Nigel Waterton is Chief Revenue Officer at Arcules. Tim Palmquist is Vice President, Americas, at Milestone Systems. 

About the Author

Nigel Waterton

Nigel Waterton leads the sales and marketing efforts for Arcules as Chief Revenue Officer, calling on his 22 years of experience building and managing large, high-growth technology organizations. Waterton joined Arcules from Aronson Security Group, an ADT Commercial Company, where he served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development and led a cross-disciplinary team within the company as well as with ASG’s strategic partners to identify the key areas of optimization and innovation needed to deliver value to clients. Over the course of his career, he has held a variety of senior-level sales and leadership roles with well-known brands, including Protection One and RFI Security. Waterton is recognized as an industry leader, has been quoted in numerous print and online publications and has sat on multiple industry councils and advisory boards.