SDI IT 2016: Evolving Technologies To Watch in the New Year

As we kick-off 2016, the SDI Team collects its thoughts on how technology is shaping up in the new year. SDI’s IT team is tracking areas of both new and evolving technologies that will have an impact on our client organizations. Here’s our top eight list:

Number One: Big Data

Organizations are creating piles and piles of both structured and unstructured data these days using social media, beacons, and sensors (Internet of Things).  The volume of data is doubling every two years.  Thanks to the cloud computing, we are no longer limited by on-premise data storages.   The probability of utilizing on-demand computing is a reality and inevitable.

In 2016, we will see many changes in big data and its components. Use of quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will drive other, mainstream simplified of big data tools. Increasingly, private entities and public safety agencies will start utilizing these tools to analyze their pools of data to make better sense of it. More and more companies will utilize big data to process their massive data library to gain intelligence on their business.

Number Two: Video Analytics

After many false starts over the last 3 -5 years, video analytics accuracy and adoption are accelerating.  Video analytics became a hot and trending technology after 9/11. During this time, many video analytics products did not live up to over-hyped expectations. Today we see that client expectations are now more reasonable, and clients are well educated and they understand the limitations of video analytics.  In 2016, due to cloud business models (VaaS), machine learning, utilization of AI, improvements in detection, recognition, identification, accuracy and falling cost of video equipment and analytics, video analytics will become easily adaptable technology by business entities.

There are approximately 210 million security cameras are in operation in the world.  It is interesting to know that an average 1% of these cameras are monitored.  When used proactively to monitor real-time events, law enforcement operators or POD (Police Observation Device) watchers struggle to view all footage.  Lack of monitoring and human limitations together, 95% of incidents are likely to be missed after 20 minutes in command and control centers.   As a result, we cannot rely on humans alone – rather, we need efficient and effective video analytics to monitor scenes.

Analysts predict that the surveillance camera equipment market will reach over $25 billion by 2019.  As a natural result of this tremendous growth in surveillance cameras market, video analytics market will grow accordingly.

Number Three: Increase adoption of As A Service model

Last 10 years, public and private cloud services have accelerated from simply being “nice to have” technology services to “must-have” services due to the many profitable advantages they deliver. As a service delivery model, many technology providers are offering private, public, hybrid, and community cloud services.

Companies are increasingly looking to implement “as a Service” model to reduce cost and increase scalability and achieve economies of scale. In 2016, we will see more and more companies utilizing flavors of the As A Service model such as Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS), Platform As A Service, Software As A Service (SaaS), Business process As A Service (BPaaS), Access Control As A Service (ACaaS), Video As A Service (VaaS) and other As A Service models.  Companies are appreciating that whether these As A Service models are deployed individually and/or collectively, multiple benefits can be realized.

Number Four: Safe Cities 

Increasing natural and manmade threats and disasters will continue to shape our world in 2016, and will drive the proliferation of safe city platforms around the globe.  We will see more and more cities adopting safe cities programs in upcoming years.  The safe cities concept combines digital, intelligent, smart and sustainable technologies into initiatives that enhance security and information flow to provide a safe and secure environment for citizens. City leaders will look to incorporate technologies including Situational Awareness Management Systems (SAMS) and its components such as big data, social media, video surveillance streams, video analytics, and many other information components to build out the safe cities concept.

Number Five: Body Worn Cameras and Video Content Management

Early 2015, U.S. Justice Department announced that they will provide $20 million in grants to local police departments to help them to purchase 50,000 body worn cameras (BWC) for law enforcement agencies.  This grant funding will be part of the $75 million body cameras funding program which will be distributed over three years.  The Justice Department will match funds dedicated by the department to buy cameras and train police on how to use them.

Throughout the United States, many cities that are considering deploying BWC technology are looking for clarity on how best to deploy and integrate BWC with existing law enforcement systems to improve efficiency, service delivery, and sustainability.  Most police agencies are not familiar with the BWC IT lifecycle, hidden costs, required storage spaces, best practices, Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), policy and legal aspect of BWC deployments.  These agencies are seeking guidance, feedback and lessons learned from early adopters – mainly from larger cities – to craft their own deployment plan, budget, and TCO road map.  In 2016, we will see more police departments implementing BWC and using cloud storage and evidence management systems to manage video content and monitor the stored data to create actionable information for investigation purposes.

Number Six: Utilization of SAMS (aka PSIM or Event Management Systems)

One of the major trends in 2016 will be tighter integration among organizations’ existing silo technologies.  Situation Awareness Management Systems (SAMS) are designed to integrate multiple, unconnected security and operational applications and devices and control them through one comprehensive user interface. Traditional SAMS – when deployed correctly – give tremendous power to operators by delivering multiple sources of intelligence into a common operating picture.   SAMS is appropriate for sophisticated public and private operation centers. SAMS’ consolidation of numerous sub-systems to create a cohesive common operating platform presents an actionable picture to the decision makers. From aviation to 911 centers, transportations to financial institutions, SAMS can monitor, manage and consolidate the majority of security notifications under its platform.  Multiple end-users ranging from security, operations, facilities to maintenance can share a common understanding of an incident.

The candidate technologies for SAMS include social media, facility management solutions, vehicle information, access control, identity management, video surveillance, incident management, sensors and alarms, fire/life safety, cybersecurity and big data apps, to name a few.

Number Seven: Consolidation of Physical Security Solutions

It is interesting (but not surprising) to see physical security technology providers consolidating their solution offerings to gain more market share and help their channel partners offer a wider portfolio of solutions. System integrators’ main issue is integrating disparate systems into common platform effectively and efficiently without any “hiccups.”

Disparate system consolidation offerings could include cybersecurity, building automation services, remote system heartbeat check, utilization of As A Service framework such as IT As A Service (ITaaS), Access Control As A Service (ACaaS), Security As A Service (SECaaS) and other As A Service models.  As a result of remote monitoring and flexibility of the As A Service model, we see a major price drop on these services which will further attract businesses to these models.  Focusing on the consolidation of Physical Security solutions, smart integrators will actively assist their customers in incorporating the models into their IT architecture to reap efficiency benefits and business intelligence and continuity.

Number Eight: Cyber Security

In 2016, cybersecurity will continue to be the main focus of many corporations around the globe. In 2015 we have seen various examples of cyber attacks on government and corporate networks where millions of records were compromised and agencies’ credibility lost.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) will be utilized more and more by developers to build concrete, multidimensional system-level security for protection purposes.  Educated end users will use these available technologies when looking to enhance internal and external mission-critical system integration. The current global need for a cyber security skillset will continue to grow, as software and hardware companies drive cyber security into their product portfolio.  Some of the SAMS providers are already implementing cybersecurity as a core component of their product offerings.

Contact SDI for assistance in driving these and other core technologies into your IT ecosystem.


zoufal, donMr. Halac serves as the Vice President of Client Technology at SDI. Yilmaz has expertise in Public Safety Technologies and he has played significant technology management roles in major events such as the Chicago NATO Summit in 2012 as well as the 2008 Presidential election. Yilmaz has a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and a Masters of Science in Software Engineering from DePaul University. He is currently serving as an adviser to Secured Cities, a peer-based learning symposium and the only national event providing insight into the latest in municipal public/private partnership strategies for the public and private security professional responsible for keeping their city safe, be it a downtown business district, healthcare complex, campus environment or transportation center.