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Taking video surveillance beyond grudge purchase

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Surveillance technologies have become a vital tool in the security arsenal of practically any organisation. However, much like any security solution, these are often viewed as a grudge purchase. MARK CHERTKOW, Managing Director of GIT believes that video surveillance tools can easily be put to other uses.

One of the most commonly used video surveillance tools is CCTV along with remote monitoring, which enables businesses to deter theft and provide evidence in the event on an incident or criminal activity. These solutions also have value beyond security and theft prevention however they can also be leveraged as tools for performance management and monitoring, particularly in remote sites where having a supervisor on duty onsite at all times may not be viable.

Overseeing remote locations to obtain an accurate view of performance, as well as monitoring these sites for operational purposes, can help to increase efficiency and productivity of staff members, without the need for managers to constantly travel to these sites. Site visits by their nature also only provide limited visibility, as staff are typically ‚’on their best behaviour’ if they know they are being watched. These visits can also only account for the time when the manager is onsite, which again limits their use.

CCTV solutions that incorporate remote monitoring can improve this situation, extending the ‚’best behaviour’ by ensuring that someone can watch the goings-on at all times. Organisations can easily monitor multiple distributed sites from a single central location, without the need for constant physical presence. Other benefits of extending CCTV to include operational management and monitoring include a lower carbon footprint as a result of reduced travel, improved visibility, productivity and accountability and enhanced productivity. These solutions can also help organisations to quickly identify employees who are not adhering to policies and procedures in real-time, which has significant benefit particularly from a health and safety point of view. In hazardous areas, using CCTV solutions to monitor employee behaviour can ensure that staff are following safety protocol, minimising risk to the business. CCTV solutions can also be linked into time and attendance solutions as well as access control, to verify time sheets and ensure that staff are not accessing areas that they shouldn’t.

Aside from monitoring behaviour with CCTV linked into remote monitoring, video synopsis (VS) tools can be used to great effect both in terms of security and in delivering business benefit. These technologies allow users to rapidly review and index full-length video footage using VS technology, which delivers the simultaneous presentation of multiple objects and activities that occurred at different times. These synopsis videos can then be used for identification, audits, behavioural analysis and more, allowing organisations in a variety of sectors to leverage real value from the hours of frottage generated by CCTV.

While catching criminals is an obvious application of these tools, and the deterrent effect that such a system provides can prevent theft and assist law enforcement with identifying perpetrators, there are many more business-oriented applications for VS technology. Casinos and places of entertainment can use the tools to ensure cheating does not occur at card tables. Retailers can use the solution to monitor people flow through their store, analysis of consumer shopping patterns, and improved store layouts as a result of these insights. Hospitals can use the tools to quickly browse hours of surveillance footage to monitor patient care and address behaviours from staff that need correction. In any industry, once problems have been identified and trends picked up, the organisation can use this information to modify behaviours and affect necessary changes. VS tools further extend the value of CCTV solutions to the business by making analysis of hours of footage a far simpler and less time consuming task.

When it comes to security, given the crime rate in South Africa, CCTV and video surveillance are and continue to be important tools. In order to leverage the full potential of these necessary solutions, organisations can look towards performance management and behaviour modification as ways to improve their business using security tools. With the addition of VS technology, which also works to enhance security, enterprises can more easily gain even further benefit. CCTV and video surveillance are not just about security, but can be harnessed in many other areas of business to create additional value for money.

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