As technology continues to grow, businesses must find ways to improve on efficiency and effectiveness of their operations while at the same time looking out for solutions that provides the best value in terms of cost, quality, performance and perceived satisfaction derived from utilizing the product or service. This draws our attention to the open market currently flooded with a plethora of CCTV surveillance solutions, from legacy Closed circuit surveillance systems to more recent IP surveillance technology and the futuristic cloud surveillance solution which may be integrated with IoT technology. These technologies have evolved over time to address existing problems or inefficiencies of legacy systems as well as ability to play a role in the ever converging world of technology. Surveillance cameras are mostly deployed for Security and video management reasons. They range from theft alert & surveillance, event recording and playback.
In today’s construction industry, surveillance is quickly finding its way into the heart of every operation plan as it now plays a key role in Security risk control, Fraud detection and control and real-time decision making thanks to Cloud CCCTV surveillance.
One of the major challenging factors affecting Cloud CCTV proliferation today especially in Africa, is the issue of inadequate bandwidth resource. Transmitting video signal over the internet is very bandwidth intensive and this affects the quality of transmitted video to a great extent. A simple video stream of about 480p may take-up to as much as 60-100GB bandwidth capacity in a month! This could translate to a huge expense in paying for bandwidth and even investment in video surveillance infrastructure. However, the benefits outweigh the costs in all dimensions. One cannot place enough value on the role CCTV plays in recovering lost or stolen asset, as well as making quick decision on real time operations being carried out thousands of miles away. The cost of unnecessary transportation to those sites and wasted time can be totally eliminated in a well-planned CCTV environment.
It is important to note that different environment and scenarios calls for the adoption of specialized CCTV technology that will perform adequately for the given function. For example, a camera solution designed for a crime detection scene is very different from a solution designed for a construction site for instance. CCTVs for indoor use also differ greatly from those designed for outdoor use. In the construction Sector for example, key factors that determine appropriate CCTV infrastructure to adopt are;
- Environmental Condition
Works such as road, bride and building construction are mostly outdoor related operations and many occur in very harsh terrain and susceptible to varying and fast changing climatic conditions; from heavy rain to extremely hot, windy etc. A camera deigned for such areas must be properly protected against environmental hazards which can severely impact the operational effectiveness and durability of the equipment as well consequently diminishing investment made thereof.
Equipment planned for use in construction sites must procured with mobility in mind and the CCTV infrastructure is no exception. Mobility means that the equipment can be easily moved from one site to the other with very minimal administrative overhead and less impact on the time it takes to setup the equipment from time to time. This ensures that the CCTV solution can be reused more frequently in various areas of a construction work as well as other projects thus reducing overall investment on CCTV infrastructure.
CCTVs designed for construction sites must be durable and rugged and should be able to survive rough handling and busy site activities. Parts must be solidly in place and made of standardized casing and parts which can stand extreme conditions.
Due to the remote operations of construction jobs, electric power is a critical issue which has an effect on operations as most sites have no means of connecting to a source of mains power supply, this means that for some CCTV infrastructure, a huge cost is being allocated to providing backup power supply to keep the cameras operational throughout its activity period. The cost implication of power is quite high and adversely affects operations and even ease of mobility. Backup power requires UPS and batteries to be lugged along cameras from site to site and the size of the batteries depends on the durability of the cameras operation. The bigger the battery, the long lasting the camera uptime. This also poses a logistic problem as lifting and delivering to site continues to attract cost from different quarters which subsequently impacts on the overall cost of a project for example.
As technologies are growing, systems and parts are getting smaller and smaller which fosters ease of use, less technicalities, less overhead costs and convenience with a disadvantage of Single point of failure syndrome. This means systems are becoming more difficult to troubleshoot and isolate in modules. When a unit gets broken, it is most likely replaced entirely instead of replacing a few parts.
At face value, it may appear that newer converged systems are more expensive than traditional systems, but the real truth is that overhead cost of recurring maintenance is vastly reduced which in turn translates to huge long term savings in terms of OPEX, administrative overhead, logistics