Axis IT Study - 5 Points Misleading

Author: John Honovich, Published on Mar 20, 2014

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

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Comments (18)

Stand by for internal fallout at Axis over the obvious skews that will cause the work product overall to be suspect. Wow, amateur hour. Not what you'd expect from an industry leader

Sure it is. Remember the infamous 2010 Axis claim that a 14 - camera IP camera system was cheaper than an equal - size analog system?

Note: IT is the Christ figure while the only woman involved is in compliance...

Speaking from experience I can only confirm that the graphic is an accurate and chilling projection of IT's corporate ambitions.

It is the coming Nerdvana. As companies core competencies become increasingly dependant on IT delivery of products/services for an ever-increasing slice of total revenue, the role and influence of the IT Rainmaker grows in lock-step.

Thirty years ago the head of IT might have been called of the Data Processing Manager and the department just DP, which then morphed into IS, Information Services and then rested for a bit as IT, witnessing the reincarnation of the lowly DP Manager into the exalted CIO.

Most recently a new wave of CIOs, CTOs, CDOs continue to press for even greater organizational control and this momemtum will be hard to blunt. Other, newer organizations simply organically grow heavily weighted towards IT from their origin. One doesn't need to look far for examples: IPVM itself is effectively run by a mythic half CEO, half CTO figure and will most likely continue in simliar proportion as it grows.

Back to the infographic, a couple of points, IMHO:

No one who has to wear a hat to work has much budgetary influence. Cross out 2 candidates.(ditto for anyone who has to carry more than two keys to perform their function. )

Non-IT women have a tough time, IMHO, IT is the least disadventageous department for a woman. Cross out one candidate.

The chosen "Senior" Management figure is obviously a visual pun, and therefore Cross out one candidate.

Leaving us with the omnipotent IT messiah, though trading in his humble robe for what appears to be, on closer inspection, a bright red battle cape. Nerdvana.

" given the high self regard IT people have for themselves"

John Honovich, I will tell tell you NOW and have you KNOW, as an IT experianced professional, I resemble that remark!

Here's a great example of how Axis benefits when they release nonsense studies like these.

SSN published an article titled, "Who’s in charge? Study shows 91 percent of IT departments do video surveillance"

Who's in charge???? Even Axis is not insinuating that IT is 'in charge' of 91% of video surveillance systems.

I guess the trade mags know who butters their bread. Axis, make sure to get an extra ad in SSN next month to thank them...

“But the answer is that we’ve evolved from preaching that physical security needs to have a separate network over the past six years. If you can leverage the existing network, you should save money,” Marcella said. From the SSN article

Sounds like Axis is now looking to increase the value proposition and leverage the existing network infrastructure but at the possible cost of security/stability of the entire organization. With all the horror stories regarding shared networks seemingly on the rise, its interesting that they would have you think things are safer/easier now than before. Is this really in line with the current attitude of top security consultants?

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."

John, can you tell me where they are getting this 40% number from? The only document linked to from the Axis press release makes no mention of all of generic video data. in fact they seem to go out of their way to use the term 'video surviellence data' exclusively. But there is no mention of the word 'cloud' at all! Nor terabyte, nor 40%.

Ditto with the whole section on buying influence, not in their document, nor could I find it on ESG's website.

I'm sure it exists somewhere, its just that seeing how they backed into the 91% number, a number which the report does not explicitly call out, it would be prudent to check their math everywhere.

Do you have the complete report?

Rukmini, The most detailed version Axis released is the one you cite (3 pages). Presumably, there is something more detailed somewhere.

Even with what they have shown, it is pretty obvious that this is a nonsense marketing campaign. And unlike Avigilon, Axis dealers have little loyalty / motivation to defend their partner's spin.

I think that the number 91% is totally confusing for what they said...support/manage. Manage is to give an IP address ? Support is when a switch is dead they change it ? I've been involved on many big projects on different countries and sure IT department is "involved" but do not take the final decision about security projects and yes, HW is place on the servers room...but different network almost 99.99%. They provide the switch ? Sure...but according to project specification from security people...they provided HW ? Sometimes yes...but dedicated to video so also according to project specification.

So, at the end, they are involved but not decision makers...at least today. If AXIS is claiming that IT department do choose their cameras...answer is NO. I've never seen that on any projects...perhaps other people do ?

"I am an Axis Dealer and I approve this message" :)

9/10 times I have gotten involved with both IT and Security, its been a bigger nightmare than it should have been, a bigger hassle than it needed to be, and in the end we put up seperate networks because neither side wanted the other side involved.

Scott, since the supporting Axis data has gone missing, maybe you wouldn't mind being a survey of one? :)

Two questions:

1. What's the percentage of all deals that IT is involved in any capacity?

2. When they are involved, have you ever noticed anyone nonchalantly wearing a red cape?

Rukmini:

1) For me, as an integrator dealing with IP Cameras, involved can be somewhat tempered with "How Involved?" I tend to try and meet with them and then gauge their interest and ability to either support or hinder the process. Most of the time, they are not really interested - as long as it doesn't touch thier network.

Once the initial meeting goes, I don't usually get too involved with IT save the occassional IP addresses. Its been a while since I have sold a system that resorted to putting the system on the existing IT network. I've proposed a lot more, but 9/10 its alot easier to deal with the seperate network. IT doesnt want the headache, and can be a lot nicer and supportive when there are few demands on them.

I deal with IT more with access control these days, believe it or not.

2) None of the IT people had a red cape. One did have a really ugly pair of red converse shoes, if that counts.

I deal with IT more with access control these days, believe it or not.

I believe it, IT people are the classic 20% who use 80% of the after-hours access, so they like print their own cards and make their own rules, if possible. Usually this power-grab happens in the murky dark ages between security director appointments. IT's (unspoken) credo is "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Cameras on the other hand are passive, and if on a seperate network, have far less impact. Though you can't really say you've seen hypocrisy until you've been to a euphemistically titled network re-integration (or re-purposing or media colocation) meeting, where you sit and listen to IT people argue the reasons why they should be able to share bandwidth on the new security network (now that its been actually built out), using the exact opposite arguments they used previously to force construction of the exact same network! (SecurITy, CapacITy, AccountabilITy, ManageabilITy)

The projects I worked were generally more amicable between IT/Security, re: neither wanted the other involved, but I believe your anecdote.

There is often a cultural difference between IT and Security:

  • IT guys have an easy ability to track your every move and action on their network, but hate that reputation of being 'oppressive' and 'big brother's henchmen'.
  • Security guys do not have an easy time monitoring anyone given all the blind spots or uncontrolled doors in their systems, yet relish the reputation of having everything locked down tight.

Scott,

The days of "IT vs Security" are coming to a quick and overly due demise. I would agree that IT managers can be obstacles at times, however the vast majority of my interactions have been professional and positive. We in the security world need to understand that IT isn't just a bunch of overly zealous, power hungry geeks (ok.. some of them are), but rather they are responsible for the infrastructure and security of corporate data networks. They take their jobs seriously and if treated with respect, typically will respond to you in like. And yes. often times a seperate security network IS the best answer.

Regards

I can help answer these questions also ;)

1 - 5%

2 - Yes but also sunglasses for the laser beam :-)

Rukmini, your description of IT's rising impact on anything 'not well understood' by the 'simple' people in the room (see Operating Executive), is spot on - in large enterprises, at least, based on my 30 plus years in that space.

Most often it is the CEO (who is usually a financial guy/gal - a source of even greater executional decay, but I digress) who is the most clueless regarding the basic technology actually used in the enterprise, and is eager to 'delegate' consideration of new technologies to the 'appropriate' subordinate. Well, that might be, and most often should be the Operating Executive whose part of the enterprise is the principal customer of the technology under consideration. Trouble is, he/she is usually a sales type, and doesn't understand any of it, either. And Security, if the enterprise is large enough to have a true departnment with that responsiblilty, never seems to wield much clout when it comes to capital expenditures.

Thing is, networks are pretty damn complicated, poorly understood my most, and well understood by few (that mid-level super tech who really runs the show). Anything even remotely associated with the word 'network' is treated like a walking case of the hebejebes.

So, it is hard to blame the IT guy/gal for filling this vacuum, as they might be the only ones in the room that understand the vocabulary, even. And the global paranoia regarding network exposure of any type is certainly not without foundation.

Whoa, that felt mean...

Anyway, I think Scott has it right, most often a separate physical infrastructure is best, and the preferred choice of all parties. I certainly start as if this is the forgone conclusion with clients, in hopes of disrupting any grander schemes. Most often works. Sometimes, you do have to just live with VLANs, though.

And, there does seem to be 'tipping point' in organizational size/hierarchy where surveillance considerations (and other techie stuff) get shuttled into the IT department. In small/mid size enterprises, IT is usually swimming like mad just to keep the wheels on. (And, Operating Execs actually came from Operations). In larger ones, IT seems to become a mystical den of wizards, upon whose superordinate council hangs the outcome of an ever-growing percentage of the enterprise's investment and operational considerations.

Ouch, that felt mean again...

Axis did an interview with Network World promoting the 'study'. Here's the 20 minute video:

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