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Why a Hybrid Deployment Model that Includes the Cloud Enhances your Physical Security

This article is brought to you by New Zealand Security Magazine.

The best way to move to the cloud, writes Genetec’s Country Manager A/NZ George Moawad, is to let go of the division between cloud and on-premises physical security systems and embrace a hybrid deployment model.

There’s no question that last year’s pandemic lockdown accelerated the need for remote capabilities within organisations of all size and the he unprecedented operational demands has meant a step-change in the pace of cloud adoption, with Gartner forecasting that spending on public cloud services in New Zealand will reach $1.7 billion by the end of 2021 (up 22.6% year on year).

Whilst this remains a little below the global average growth rate of 23.1%, New Zealand entities are set to ramp up in 2022 when spending will grow by 22.4% to $2 billion compared to the predicted global average of 19.6% year on year growth.

For physical security professionals, this means that now is the time to follow the lead of IT departments and make the move towards the cloud. And the best way to do this is to let go of the division between cloud and on-premises physical security systems and embrace a hybrid deployment model.

The best of both worlds

A hybrid deployment allows enterprises to keep their on-prem security infrastructure while using cloud services to accommodate specific sites or applications. Given that it’s likely some components of security systems will need to remain on-prem, it’s a way to leverage the benefits of both technologies and stay flexible to changing requirements across the organisation.

There’s no getting away from the fact that necessary on-prem solutions require additional work, not to mention the costs involved in maintaining the infrastructure. Ongoing IT support, handling hardware and software updates, and optimising device performance are resource-intensive tasks. Consequently, it makes sense to identify the solutions for which Cloud might be a better fit to take the strain off budget and man hours. These types of solutions could include connecting a remote site to the Cloud or speeding up an access control upgrade using cloud services.

However, in addition to saving time and money, one of the clear advantages of a hybrid deployment model is that it gives enterprises the opportunity to be more strategic when it comes to physical security deployments. Security directors are able to be more agile in making decisions about how they can enhance scalability, redundancy, and availability to suit their organisation’s evolving needs when cloud options are available to them. After all, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that cloud offerings need to become an essential option to quickly adapt to changes and ensure business continuity.

Further, a hybrid deployment model leveraging the cloud can help minimise hardware footprints and enable quicker migrations to newer technologies, including many built-in cybersecurity and data privacy features. Legacy systems can be brought along and, importantly, it won’t impact your users experience because all cloud and on-premises systems are accessible via the same security platform.

Is the hybrid deployment model right for you?

As with most things security, there’s no one size fits all recommended approach for a hybrid physical security deployment because every different organisation will have different challenges, needs and requirements.

However, the following considerations may help determine if a hybrid deployment model is the right option for your business:

1. Long-term retention

Cloud computing resources and capabilities have surged in the last few years. Many organisations are now taking advantage of this for long-term video retention. You can link your on-prem system to a highly-secure, cloud-based video storage service. This can provide added layers of redundancy or simply allows you to keep video for longer periods.

2. More visibility and control over independent sites

Cloud technology is highly scalable, making it easier for you to extend security across your many sites. Using the hybrid cloud model, you can connect your on-prem system to the Cloud and manage security across your independent sites with more control. For example, you can easily add cameras or access control readers to remote locations using cloud services, simplifying the set-up process when opening new locations.

3. Manage heavy in-office traffic

Larger enterprises with heavy in-office traffic can enhance security using a hybrid cloud system. For example, you could combine an on-prem video management system (VMS) and cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) to lessen the load on your servers and reduce costs. You might also choose to upgrade to a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system. This cloud-based PIAM solution helps you automate access requests and streamline visitor management.

This type of hybrid deployment strategy for physical security systems means organisations can use their on-premises infrastructure to do the heavy lifting required for video management, while less demanding applications, like access control, can be hosted in the Cloud to realise the benefits of agility, efficiency and fast-tracked technological innovation.

To find out if the hybrid deployment model is right for your business, check out this chart which discusses the difference between cloud solutions.

This article was originally published to New Zealand Security Magazine, a partner of Security Exhibition & Conference.

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