Axis Communications, global industry provider of network video, has released the results of a recent partner survey in a new whitepaper exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the physical security industry. The online survey, conducted in December 2020, sought the views of senior decision makers within circa 200 partner companies across the UK and Ireland. It is hoped that through the results, partners and the wider security industry will be able to make more informed decisions on future business opportunities.
The enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be fully grasped. Its initial impact on businesses in the UK and around the world was swift and gave rise to a great many challenges. As businesses adapt to the new social and economic reality and lay down plans for the year ahead, many will want to implement necessary measures to mitigate the effects of further recurrences. The report identifies ways that technology can facilitate a smarter, safer world, by helping businesses to continue to operate through careful management of social distancing and other COVID-led requirements.
Axis’ ‘listening project’ also sought insight into how it can better support its partners and their customers in 2021. While the majority of partners continued to work, albeit some with limited capacity, under their classification as essential services, 41% of respondents expressed concerns about their supply chains, whilst anxiety over general economic recovery was repeatedly referenced as a top concern for both partners (67%) and their customers (55%). What is clear is the need for ongoing support as partners and customers embrace new approaches to security, with strong customer support viewed as essential.
David Needham, Sales Manager UK and Ireland, Axis Communications, commented: “Despite the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 has caused, Axis is proud to have been able to effectively respond and adapt. To further demonstrate our commitment to offer support wherever possible, we launched a survey in the region to identify the main challenges, needs and expectations of our trusted partners, their customers and wider stakeholders. Through careful analysis of the experiences of senior decision makers from a wide range of industries, we will be able to determine where the greatest support is needed and identify ways that technology can facilitate safer and more effective business operations.”
Over half of the partner companies that responded serve medium to large enterprises in a wide range of industry sectors, with more than one in ten employing over 1,000 people. Analytics are highlighted as being key to ongoing success, with crowd management and assistance with appropriate social distancing measures also welcomed. In addition, contactless entry to avoid the unnecessary touching of shared surfaces and integrated solutions such as video surveillance combined with access control, are emphasised. In terms of which particular sectors are viewed as having the most potential in the year ahead, (73%) of respondents cited commercial, followed by industrial (58%) and education (50%).
On the effects of the pandemic to businesses to date, changes in workflow were reported by most respondents, who indicated that both they and their customers have been challenged by the shift to remote working that has accompanied COVID. HR issues were raised as a cause for concern by 29% of partners; and 33% of end customers, according to the partners, had been affected by HR related issues and 32% by their ability to effectively function remotely.
The survey responses indicated that process changes have also been widespread throughout the physical security industry, but few regarded this as a concern. Respondents touched upon a number of key areas, such as increased use of video conferencing, a shift toward remote management systems and changes in sales activity. A third cited changes in service delivery and sales processes (34%). Many believe that the increased emphasis on health and safety processes would likely continue, even as restrictions are eased.
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread and often difficult to gauge. The Axis survey results contained in the whitepaper shed light on the issues facing businesses in the security industry and their customers, as well as their willingness to embrace modern technology, such as automation, analytics and touchless tools to mitigate those concerns. The responses will help Axis meet the needs of its partners and customers and continue to find ways of innovating for a smarter, safer world.
Download whitepaper: Impact of COVID-19 on the security industry