Technology is changing, and so is the face of business. Growing at a fast pace, any business that still hasn’t incorporated artificial intelligence and machine learning into their operations are a little behind on getting onto the bandwagon. Being the need of the hour, businesses, mostly large, have realized just how easy their transformation can be, just by making a few changes hither and thither. With small and medium-sized businesses, this adoption has been slower and full of apprehension.
Before getting alarmed upon hearing the idea of transitioning to a not so conventional and a little more experimental management and surveillance system, these small enterprises require a more comprehensive guide to the use cases this system can satisfy.
Common challenges shared by SMBs globally
- Attracting and retaining new customers
Small and medium sized businesses face the constant challenge of attracting customers, providing them something with an óomph’ factor and most importantly, making them stay. With limitations on budget and technology, small businesses are left with little area to experiment. While every small business, especially older ones, seem to have a loyal customer footfall, retaining new customers can be onerous.
- Keeping pace with competitors
SMBs have it hard, competing with other small as well as large businesses dealing in the same products, even in sight of their own limitations. Businesses today are governed by what customers want, and how they want it. While customizing products and services as per their demands may not be a problem for larger organizations, the same is not true for SMBs. In lieu of their contrasting limitations, small and medium sized enterprises have to compete with their larger counterparts to stay relevant.
- Reducing costs associated with Technology
On site business management systems and security infrastructures require constant routine checks for the efficient functioning of the system and all of its individual components. The conventional Video Management Systems and surveillance system requires a more elaborate installation process, and higher associated costs. The maintenance and upgrades applied onto the system, too, adds to the overall expenditure.
- Regulating operational costs
Operational costs include all expenses incurred by a business in order to carry out it’s operations, ranging from staff remuneration to maintenance charges and establishing an in-house surveillance mechanism. For SMBs operational costs can often go over their expected threshold, having to invest in all these basic requirements. Even after investing in CCTV solutions, SMBs have to invest in surveillance personnel while also breaking down data manually to deduce insights.
- Improving workforce productivity
With a conventional surveillance structure installed across the enterprise, monitoring employee performance and productivity becomes hard. Every device installed under a traditional surveillance system acts as an independent entity, recording its own data on a separate video recorder, which can be streamed on a separate monitor in real time. This gap, however, does not provide employers with a pandect view, falling short when it comes to monitoring the entire workforce’s productivity.
- Inadequate staff training and awareness
Even with SMBs that invest in automation based machinery and AI led technologies, they are unable to get the most benefits out of their workforce, failing at providing employee training and orientation. Educating employees and providing them with regular training sessions are some basic induction practices to be carried out, the absence of which can leave employees clueless, and sometimes even put them in harm’s way.
- Managing data integration
Small and medium sized businesses employing conventional surveillance systems are left with a large amount of data, scattered across devices; atoning the responsibility of retrieving and managing the data onto the personnel. This distribution leads to loopholes in the recorded data, making it vulnerable to tampering, or resulting in certain nook areas, only being realized upon video retrieval and playback.
Transformational Journey for SMBs: If this then that
Taking a step towards a technologically driven surveillance and management structure, SMBs have started to realize a bunch of benefits, replacing the earlier realized drawbacks.
Indulging in a one time investment to install a complete surveillance system into their premises, the enterprises can enjoy a long period of reduced maintenance costs and better security.
The deployment of a video surveillance solution brings more benefits to the businesses than just improving their surveillance. Following the ‘If this then that’ rule, organizations can enjoy a multitude of other benefits, all adding to the overall productivity of the enterprise while substantially reducing the operational and maintenance costs.
- Cloud onboarding
The simple integration of cloud into the surveillance system has proven to be a major propagator of business enhancement for major organizations. Cloud onboarding in order to safely store data over the network with or without on site backup allows users to stream, retrieve or playback any footage and manage the establishment’s operations.
- Mobile solution
Video surveillance solutions of today have been designed to suit the lifestyle of customers, making the solution mobile. Authorized users, with the right credentials, can easily access the cloud platform solution remotely, directly from their mobile phones or monitor screens, monitoring the premises and deploying commands.
- Managed services
These solutions, being constantly backed by the service providers and their command centers, monitor the devices and provide added surveillance 24/7. Their annual maintenance plans, scheduled device health check-ups and remote upgrade and troubleshoot keeps the solution up-to-date. Preventive maintenance of the system saves SMBs the substantial amount they would have otherwise incurred on device repairs with their conventional surveillance systems.
A major popularity factor attached to the e-surveillance systems is that of additional analytics applied onto the recorded data, at different points of interaction across the ecosystem. From the IP cameras, trained to recognize faces and objects to the video analytics applied to make sense of the otherwise abundant footage recorded throughout the day; these insightful deductions allow users to make changes in their operations and turn their enterprise into an intelligent and unified entity.
- Vertical integration
The distance between individual devices installed across an office or store can be minimized, constructing an integrated ecosystem with e-surveillance solutions. This vertical integration between all cameras and sensors installed with the cloud platform keeps the site managers in loop of their premise operations.
- Productivity through automation
An overt dependency of business operations on employees leads to delays and inconsistencies in performance. Video surveillance solutions enabling automation of operations can skyrocket a businesses’ overall productivity, cutting down on time invested in individual operations and reducing the error margin exponentially.
- Improved processes and business agility
For any business to survive in the market, it has to stay updated with the trends and changing customer requirements. The AI and ML technology integrated into surveillance solutions of the present give businesses insights into customer demands and changing preferences. Chatbots on the organization’s websites as well as frequent follow-up emails and SMS, too, keep the organization in the loop with the requirements of the customers.
Small and Medium Businesses make up a majority of businesses worldwide, responsible for contributing a major portion to the global economy and providing job opportunities. Realizing the benefits of an automation-based management and surveillance solution has helped multiple organizations grow in size and services, going above and beyond, exploiting these in exhaustive services to expand their business.