Mark Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Video Solutions at StorMagic, discusses challenges enterprises are facing with their video surveillance solutions, as well as video surveillance trends in the next year.
Security: What is your background, and current role?
Armstrong: Entering the storage industry after receiving a degree in electrical engineering, I began my 35-year career spearheading software standards and procedures at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace. With experience in architecting, developing and delivering both software and hardware solutions, I have successfully founded three companies: Advanced Software Concepts, Avail Solutions and SoleraTec. In March of 2021, SoleraTec was acquired by StorMagic where I now serve as SVP of Video Solutions, and oversee helping StorMagic deliver revolutionary solutions to the video surveillance, digital evidence management (DEM), media and entertainment (M&E) and storage management markets.
Security: What are some of the challenges enterprise security faces in regards to their video surveillance?
Armstrong: There are many challenges that enterprise security faces when it comes to video surveillance. One challenge is that it has largely been seen as a costly overhead in the past, and one that doesn’t ultimately provide the ROI an investment of this nature warrants. Part of this challenge, in my opinion, is because video surveillance hasn’t yet been leveraged to its full capacity, and also because it’s largely been used reactively rather than preventatively.
That said, I think the biggest challenge is that bandwidth consumption demands greater storage capacity. For example, camera resolutions continue to improve, regulations that affect things like video surveillance retention requirements and more are increasingly being implemented, etc. While there are many storage solutions out there that may be viable options here, most will come at great cost, particularly for customers who are public-facing such as major retail chains. To meet these challenges in a cost-effective way, accessible, active, intelligent, tiered storage is now mandatory.
Security: How are advanced analytics and AI transforming VMS into valuable business solutions?
Armstrong: One of the biggest pain points for end users when it comes to video management systems is when they’re l searching video data. Customers want to be able to search video intelligently, via some kind of search engine that simplifies the process and quickly retrieves what they need. To better be able to accomplish this, we need to take visual data such as video and other imagery and utilize metadata and other labels or tags to treat this data almost non-visually. In doing so, video data is more easily searchable, and advanced analytics, such as AI, can leverage these labels or tags to extract meaningful insights that can be applied in a variety of high-value ways.
Security: What are some video surveillance trends to watch in 2022?
Armstrong: Some video surveillance trends I anticipate evolving in 2022 include:
- An increase in bundling data analytics capabilities with video storage solution offerings. Historically, to leverage analytics on stored data end users have been required to pay an additional premium. As the market continues to evolve, I foresee storage vendors expanding into the analytics side of data management and bundling analytics and storage offerings rather than partnering with other vendors to provide this capability for an upcharge.
- Storage continues to evolve to handle data analytics and processing at the edge. Much of the data generated from edge-based tech eventually comes back to a centralized location for processing and analysis. That said, some recent video surveillance trends have included innovations such as running analytics within security cameras themselves. I see a sustained development of edge processing and storage options to help support data analysis at the edge.
- A reckoning - video surveillance, data analytics technologies and privacy laws. As the application of data analytics on video surveillance continues to explode in 2022 and beyond, I believe so too will the passing of legislation on citizens’ privacy. Whether in 2022 or beyond, creating the right regulations to protect privacy but still harnessing the power of video surveillance for individuals’ safety will be key, much like that evolution of privacy and medical technologies.