Many retailers are being prevented from deploying IP-based surveillance due to a lack of collaboration with their IT departments, according to a recent report commissioned by Axis Communications.
The independent report by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR) examines current and future CCTV use in the UK. It reveals that nearly half (42.7%) of the respondents cite a lack of collaboration with their IT departments as the reason they are unable to roll out IP-based surveillance across their stores. Axis believes that this barrier to adoption is largely due to the misconception that network video cameras will take up too much data network bandwidth.
Commenting on the report, entitled 'Retail use and experience of CCTV in the UK,' Professor Joshua Bamfield from the CRR said: "The majority of retailers are claiming that a lack of collaboration with their IT department is preventing them from moving towards a digital upgrade. However, there is a minority of retailers that still claim they do not need IP surveillance or that upgrading is simply not a priority for their business."
"Although analogue CCTV clearly still dominates in this sector, the report also shows that the vast majority of retailers are considering moving towards IP-based surveillance in the future, so obviously appreciate the numerous benefits that networked camera solutions can bring to the business far beyond just security and protection of stock."
The impact of this technology on the company network is often misunderstood, and this report suggests that this may still appear to be the case in the retail sector. Atul Rajput, retail business development manager, Northern Europe, at Axis Communications said: "File sizes can be easily managed by the adoption of efficient compression techniques commonly used throughout the global consumer video industry and retailers can also control when and how video files move across the company network so that footage isn't continuously streamed.
"Network video surveillance adds real business value for retailers and is capable of far more than helping to reduce shrinkage. It can be simultaneously deployed to help analyse customer behaviour and therefore help improve the customer shopping experience. If video is perceived as delivering business value, perhaps IT departments may be more inclined to embrace network video.
Making the move from traditional analogue CCTV to IP surveillance is easier and more cost effective than many people realise. Retailers can also make the most of their existing investment in analogue technology and upgrade to an IP-based solution using video encoders which bring footage onto the network."
Axis has worked with many well-known retail brands to successfully upgrade their surveillance systems to IP with minimal impact to their networks.