With many business systems, the old cliché ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ makes good commercial sense. Some businesses apply this logic to commercial CCTV. So long as the cameras are working, the system records data okay and power usage is sensible, it isn’t a priority for capital spend.
However, with rapid advances in CCTV technology over the last few years, especially in terms of cameras and data recording capacity, you may want to consider an upgrade for reasons other than hardware obsolescence.
The advantages of upgrading to a newer, more responsive CCTV system are considerable, bringing efficiency savings and improvements in the uses you can put your system to. A modern system isn’t simply a deterrent to vandals and thieves; it can be used to gather data to analyse business policies, monitor working practices and even redesign office layouts to a more efficient model.
Here are the main three reasons you should consider upgrading your commercial CCTV system. If any of these apply to you, get in touch with one of our security consultants for a chat about how we can help.
Older, analogue cameras and early IP systems frequently record grainy or unclear images; their resolution being limited by slow upload speeds or simply low TVL (Television Lines). As your cameras are the eyes of your security system, an inability to recall clear images is a serious drawback, limiting the usefulness of your system. An indistinct image of an intruder, for instance, is worthless as evidence in court.
Consider an upgrade if the image capture and recognition capabilities of your system are unusable or noticeably inferior to modern cameras.
Older camera designs have a restricted field of vision that makes them prone to blind spots and lack of coverage in certain areas. Newer designs, on the other hand, have wider image capture angles, greater manoeuvrability and sometimes 360° vision. The original installation environment may now have changed meaning cameras are no longer in the correct positions.
Consider an upgrade if your current cameras do not cover all the important areas of your premises.
The quantity of storage you need will depend on the requirements of your business. You may not need a massive amount of storage, but you will need sufficient space to store and record an adequate number of still images and videos. Check your capacity against your requirements – many older systems are limited, meaning you may not be able to record video for as long as you need. Also do you have capacity for future expansion?
Upgrade your storage infrastructure if your recording ability falls short of the surveillance needs of your business with no scalability for expansion.
Older systems typically require more regular servicing and cost more to maintain. The cameras and storage devices themselves need maintenance, but the greatest cost come from servicing multiple components of legacy CCTV Cameras, lenses and motors, PSU’s analogue switching devices etc. As modern CCTV security systems are less dependent on huge networks of cables and complex switching and multiplexing device, there is less need for maintenance and less scope for things to go wrong.
Consider an upgrade if your maintenance costs are significantly higher than you would expect from a modern system of the same size.
There is no set trigger for when you should give serious thought to investing in an upgrade. However, there reaches a point when the risks and costs associated with not upgrading outweigh the expense of investing in new equipment. These problems come from the inherent risks of maintaining an old system, plus the restrictions on operational efficiency from inadequate cameras. Furthermore, the gap between early IP and analogue systems and new equipment grows wider each year, increasing the productivity differential and requiring a greater capital outlay when you do choose to modernise your system.
If you’re still unsure about the benefits of making an upgrade, please take a look at our Commercial CCTV Surveillance Guide. Our new e-book goes through the business case for upgrades, explaining how modern modular systems require less capital investment to upgrade on a regular basis, and how the latest technologies give a far greater ROI than older models. Click here to access a free copy today.