John Romanowich suggests that networked automated sensors will avail tremendous ROI and new services to provide greater security at a lower cost.

John Romanowich is the president and CEO of SightLogix, a manufacturer of automated outdoor video surveillance systems for perimeter and buffer zone security. His business and technical background includes post graduate studies at Rutgers Graduate School of Management, Columbia University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is a former executive director and co-founder of Pyramid Vision Technologies (Sarnoff spinoff), a pioneer in intelligent video surveillance now owned by L3 Communications. He has also held management positions with Intel, IBM and the Sarnoff Corporation in video related technologies.

We spoke with Romanowich to get his perspective on the state of the industry relative to the professional security industry’s migration to an IP platform, justifying system acquisitions and emerging trends. His observations follow.

In the next 5-10 years, we’ll see more video surveillance cameras being automated, unlocking tremendous value for the $100 billion manpower market. At the same time, the costs to produce such “smart” systems will decrease to the point at which they become negligible relative to the value unlocked. The process of detection, which is now being performed by people, will be achieved by intelligent sensors that excel at determining – with great accuracy – if and when a security violation has occurred. Automation frees people to focus their attention where it is best suited, on making the appropriate response decisions.

We’re already seeing advancements in smart sensor technologies, which help personnel to make better decisions with greater efficiency. This is especially important when protecting large areas, such as those outdoors. These smarter systems are leveraging existing IT platforms as a standard business function with measurable accountability. Moving forward, as more sophisticated sensor technologies emerge and move onto the network, security systems will come to be managed just as any other information system, supported by the IT function, just as other departments across the enterprise are supported by IT today (e.g., accounting, manufacturing, CRM, etc.).

The functionality and capabilities of new automated solutions have risen over the past 18 months. Simultaneously, the economy has become intensely focused on ROI, and the key to ROI is automation that extends manpower efficacy to do more with less. Security automation leverages the strengths of networked intelligent sensors, which excel at monotonous events like detection without tiring or distraction, and aggregating that information onto the network. This streamlines the effectiveness and timeliness of security information. In essence, automation creates more effective security at less cost.

A perfect example of this involves the hundreds of thousands of PTZ cameras in use today. Even with vigilant operators, these cameras are inevitably looking in the wrong direction when a security violation occurs, akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. The good news is that solutions are emerging that address this concern by automatically directing PTZ cameras to view an intruder, prompting accurate decision making and capturing vital details that would have been missed. Automatically controlling surveillance assets in this manner will form a major component of security deployments in
the future.

With the advent of networked automated sensors, there really is no reason why an organization has to own and maintain all of the elements of a security implementation. Instead, great economies of scale will be obtained by outsourcing security systems the way we outsource network operations today. By moving equipment and systems offsite a model of “security as a service” will shift capital expenses to operational expenses. Accordingly, security investments can be amortized over time, while organizations will benefit from best practices and the latest technologies.

With proper planning, security management will always strive to utilize the best technologies they can afford to mitigate and minimize consequences should a security event occur. Our brightest customers are those who develop a security plan for pre- and post-event mitigation, and deploy systems that support their security strategy. That’s what resiliency is all about – first preventing an intrusion and then minimizing consequences. One of the keys is to push security boundaries beyond buildings’ walls to the perimeter of the venue and further. This allows security management to preempt events and minimize risk and potential damage. Having events intercepted outside of your perimeter makes organizations less vulnerable.

John Romanowich of SightLogix predicts that:

1. The number of automated video
surveillance cameras will increase.
2. Smart sensor technologies will increasingly help manage security systems.
3. The key to ROI in security is automation.
4. Outsourcing security systems the way we outsource network operations today will shift capital expenses to operational expenses.