With National security and public safety being in the spotlight in this Country, important questions that have recently been raised by a number of clients and people that I come across in business include “is my current CCTV system adequate” and “how do I make the right CCTV choice”.

Regardless of whether you are in the Resources, Retail or Government sector, public and employee safety and loss prevention is a key consideration if not, in fact a corporate or legal obligation. Organisations need an effective Risk and Compliance strategy which includes its security and safety critical systems to ensure these systems adequately address and are aligned to its overall organisational needs. Certainly CCTV technology solutions are one aspect of these systems, however there are many other factors to consider that ensure the overall organisational objectives are achieved.

Camera and control system technology (‘CCTV’) is now a mature and integrated technology and constant advancements mean it is continuing to become more efficient, flexible and cost-effective. CCTV solutions can now capture better vision, retain more information and be used for a broader variety of business, government and private applications. Video data is not only being used for security response purposes, it is now being applied by organisations for analysing traffic and pedestrian flows, access control, crowd management, safety and emergency management, and for evidence in the event of crime, incident investigation or insurance claim.

For any organisation considering a review of its surveillance solution, here are some tips to ensure that key factors are addressed to ensure a CCTV project is a success.

1. Organisational Alignment

Before embarking on any initiative such as this, it’s critical that you develop a clear set of business and technology requirements that not only take into account key operational factors (see below) but which also align to and address your organisational risks and compliance needs. By doing so you will ensure your CCTV project will achieve the security and safety needs of your organisation. Do this through reviewing your organisations Risk and Compliance Strategy, Security and Safety Polices etc., as well as interviewing key stakeholders and capture a list of key organisational requirements and outcomes. Use these as input to your solution requirements and design and then validate that your final solution addresses these overall requirements.

2. Stakeholder Requirements

Choosing the right equipment needs a careful assessment of requirements from not only the internal security and ICT team, it also requires input from other stakeholders within the organisation as well as external parties such as law enforcement agencies, surrounding businesses and the broader community. All these requirements need to be gathered and assessed so as to help further formulate your solution design through understanding how the video data will be used, the most appropriate type of camera, its accuracy and features, the best location and coverage, how to mount the device, network connections which meet the speed and bandwidth requirements, and ongoing camera protection and maintenance.

3. Cost Effective, Integrated Security Solutions

The organisation must also consider whether it seeks to implement just a CCTV solution or look to integrate its CCTV with other security systems such as environmental alarms and access controls. There is significant productivity and financial savings to be made in combining these security functions through one integrated system.

An assessment also needs to be made on how the video would be used and as a result how much data would be captured and stored. This is achieved by understanding firstly whether the camera is to be used for identification, recognition, detection or observation purposes. From there, a CCTV System Design can be developed which shows the intended locations, number of devices, coverage map etc. and a calculation of the amount of video that would be recorded over a given period of time. This is combined with information on how much historical video needs to be retained, who requires access to the video and so on. The assessment also determines the best storage device required for the circumstances and the best method of sharing information with other parties.

4. Key Elements for an Effective CCTV Solution

In your planning and review process, ensure that the follow key elements are considered so the CCTV project is clearly outlined from the outset:

  • compliance with Privacy Legislation and industry/equipment standards;
  • engagement with the community, businesses and law enforcement stakeholders;
  • accuracy of the image and area to be covered;
  • required lighting and blind spots;
  • cabling and network connectivity options;
  • the location and mounting and security of the devices;
  • integration with existing alarm and access systems;
  • development and implementation of new policies and procedures;
  • ongoing maintenance; and
  • archiving, securing and sharing of data.

Addressing these and other critical factors will ensure a complete and cost effective solution that meets an organisation’s specific needs, is fully costed, and can be leveraged to provide future business benefit.

Titan ICT is an independent consultancy that works with clients to achieve business outcomes through effective technology investment. Our comprehensive CCTV project checklist and specialist design skills combined with our business and technology consulting skills will ensure a CCTV project is fully defined and meets the specific organisational needs as cost effectively as possible. We can even help prepare business cases and grant submissions to get the project funded as well as develop any tender documents and manage the procurement process.

For further information, contact Ron Costanzo by email or call +618 6467 0621.