End-user education: The next challenge for video surveillance as a service


By Dominic Williams, Market Analyst, IHS Markit

The Bottom Line

  • IHS estimates the world market for branded video surveillance as a service (VSaaS) was worth $790 billion in 2015, a 13.8 percent increase from 2014.
  • Technical barriers to penetration of VSaaS have reportedly decreased markedly in recent years. The most frequently cited challenge now appears to be finding ways to increase customer awareness.
  • Hybrid VSaaS solutions (where both onsite and off-site storage is employed) are forecast to grow at the fastest rate from 2015 to 2020. Their increased popularity will be due to a combination of falling costs of cloud storage and increasing prevalence of cameras with on-board storage.
  • The residential sector will remain an important market for VSaaS. The increasing involvement of large communication and security companies with large numbers of existing residential subscribers is helping to raise the profile of VSaaS solutions.


The VSaaS market posted slightly slower growth in 2015 than had been previously forecast. A lack of end-user education is the biggest challenge to VSaaS adoption rates, according to the latest IHS Markit Video Surveillance as a Service Report.

For much of its relatively short history, a major barrier to adoption of VSaaS has been the technology. Specifically, bandwidth limitations have restricted the number of cameras that can be deployed at a given site. This limitation has curbed the attractiveness of VSaaS for video surveillance users.

Bandwidth constraints have not disappeared. However, the situation has improved markedly in recent years, thanks to the proliferation of fiber networks allowing for greater bandwidth, the rise of H.265 and other improved data compression standards, and the ongoing trend toward hybrid data storage, which enables only the most important video data to be uploaded to the cloud thus reducing upstream bandwidth usage.

As technological barriers have lowered, a lack of customer awareness has become the most frequently cited challenge to adoption among VSaaS providers. VSaaS is still emerging as a technology, and as such the benefits of VSaaS solutions are still being communicated to the video surveillance industry. Lack of knowledge may result in customers misunderstanding not only what VSaaS is, but also its value compared to other solutions. Although awareness of the benefits and power of the cloud is increasing, effectively communicating the features and benefits of VsaaS solutions to the industry and consumers will be essential for success in the market.

The task of increasing customer awareness will be aided by the marketing resources of Comcast and other large communications companies and ADT and other security companies, which are becoming increasingly involved in the market.