Axis IT Study - 5 Points Misleading

By John Honovich, Published Mar 20, 2014, 12:00am EDT

Axis paid for a study to show that IT is now dominating video surveillance decisions and that's what they got. Unfortunately, there are 5 misleading elements that need to be addressed.

  • "Managed" vs "Supported"
  • Cloud Video
  • "Most" Influence
  • "Business Intelligence"
  • Fine Print - Who Was Left Out

"Managed" vs "Supported"

Axis claims that "91% indicate that IT manages or supports these deployments." This is clever language because it allows naive people to conclude 91% manage surveillance, like this VAR website [link no longer available].

An important difference exists between managing and supporting something. IT has provided 'support' for surveillance forever. Need an IP address for a DVR? Need admin rights to add a DVR client to a PC? That's support.

Worse, the question from the original survey (figure 1) [link no longer available] asks only about 'support', not 'managing'.

 

They only later ask about managing to half of the original 302 organizations surveyed.

Cloud Video

Perhaps the most surprising claim was that "counter to the traditional physical security mindset for storing video surveillance, 40% of IT respondents leverage cloud-based services to store video data."

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Even a senior manager at Axis partner, OnSSI, immediately called this into question:

Many responded that it could not be the case.

However, it is true, given Axis' word choice. They only claim 'video data' is being stored in the cloud, not 'video surveillance data'. There are many types of video data - internal training, marketing promos, webinars etc. that surely are stored in the cloud by IT (e.g., uploading a video to YouTube counts as it stores video data 'in the cloud').

Most Influence

Another surprising finding was how IT dominated the buying decision, illustrated in this excerpt from their infographic:

[Note: IT is the Christ figure while the sole woman, in the left corner, is in compliance.]

So, by more than 5 to 1, IT dominates physical security for video surveillance buying? 

The catch is they asked IT people only and given the high self regard IT people have for themselves, the likelihood this is skewed is through the roof.

"Business Intelligence"

Axis touts that 80% of organizations are using 'business intelligence', which makes it seem like there is some mass wave of video analytic deployments. Of course, the fine print of the question ("operational inefficiencies, monitoring store traffic, observing buying patterns, employee training") reveals that this is just the mundane, practical use of video that has been done for years - a human watching video to uncover general operational issues.

Fine Print - Who Was Left Out

Finally, the survey only selected individuals from a "pool of IT professionals involved with video surveillance at mid- to enterprise-sized organizations across several vertical markets." So no smaller organizations at all and who knows what verticals they omitted.

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