Soaring inflation and slow growth, supply chain shortages, and a cost-of-living crisis - amid a news cycle of conflict and geo-political tensions - should spell bad news for brick-and-mortar retail.
But there are some positives to hold onto. Against a backdrop of doom and gloom consumers tend to seek feel-good and positive experiences. And some analysts are reporting that smaller, independent, retailers are holding onto increased sales from consumers who got into the habit of shopping locally during lockdowns.
The pandemic presented economic hardships for many sectors, and the hospitality sector ranked high on the list. Hotels were hard hit, as travel came to an abrupt halt, and hotels rooms were left largely unoccupied. Thankfully, there’s been a resurgence in travel and, according to a recent Statista report, an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2026) of 10.8% is forecasted for hotels, which translates into a projected market volume of close to $118 billion by 2026.
For most users, NVRs and PC servers are still the most popular and cost-effective choice for video storage, and we don’t see that changing. Demand for storage continues to grow, indeed it’s rising exponentially.
What’s driving this rising demand? Only a couple of years ago customers wanted to upgrade to Full-HD; today 5MP cameras are starting to become the norm. And we see more cameras transmitting richer content, for example the high-resolution 4K and 8K footage needed for perimeters and wide area monitoring and playback; and streaming the metadata needed for the new wave of AI-powered analytics and search tools, with all their benefits.
Schools across the U.S. are putting their money where their concerns are and increasingly investing in new security technologies to create safer environments for our nation’s schoolchildren. This investment trend is evidenced in a 2020 study conducted by global research leader Omdia on behalf of the Security Industry Association (SIA). Their report showed that the market for physical security equipment in K-12 and higher education was estimated at $716 million in 2020 with the K-12 segment accounting for around 56 percent of the total spend. Schools are clearly looking to improve their physical security defenses and video systems figure largely in strengthening that arsenal.
2021 ended on a high for the retail sector overall compared to the previous year, with various reports suggesting a 21% to 25% increase in footfall. Much of the loss made amid the surge in Omicron was offset by a big bounce back as shoppers headed out to the January sales.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the Middle East banking sector is the midst of an exciting transformation. As oil prices dipped, the need for diversification particularly for financial institutions became even more imperative and any reticence around the modernisation investments faded. At the same time, the sector has acted swiftly to tighten compliance, to counter misplaced global perceptions that Middle East banking regulations are lax when it comes to money laundering and terrorist financing.
The ongoing coronavirus has quickly and irrevocably changed the economic landscape. Many sectors have been hit hard by the pandemic, and while many are now bouncing back others have managed to thrive. Cannabis, which was deemed essential during the first lockdowns in 2020, is enjoying record-breaking sales numbers.
Many systems integrators have had their fingers burned by the overpromise of AI solutions or previously worked with systems that hadn’t kept pace with advances in imaging processing and deep learning. As a result, many ANPR projects have been associated with complex installations, often involving highly accurate positioning, new infrastructure and expensive civil engineering works, and constant configuration that resulted in project overruns and recurring engineering visits, eroding profit margins for integrators.
Enterprises across pretty much every single market sector have been impacted by the pandemic. Sudden shutdowns, supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and an uptick in violent crime have each wreaked havoc on businesses large and small in the U.S. and all over the globe.
Job vacancies in the UK are now at a record high. By August, the figure was over a million for the first time since records began, according to the Office for National Statistics. While that may sound like good news after such a challenging year, it reflects a significant underlying problem for the economy: more and more sectors report work force insufficiency.
The story that has really hit the headlines in recent days is the UK’s shortfall of HGV drivers - 100,000, according to the Road Haulage Association. The accuracy of that figure is questioned, but nobody doubts that many more drivers are now needed.
There’s a whole list of reasons why heightened vigilance and improved situational awareness are desirable, and why it’s best provided by tech that’s affordable, long-lasting, and easy to use.
In some states, there’s a particular concern about increasing gun violence, as gun control laws are relaxed, as crime remains high, and divisions in society persist.
Those divisions seem particularly acute right now – a heated dispute is never far below the surface, and with it, the potential for rising tempers. One thing that most Americans seem to agree on is that society is more polarized than any time they can remember. The pandemic also continues to cause concern health concerns for many, while others are frustrated by continued infringement on civil liberties, such as mandates to wear face coverings, which can cause flashpoints.
The last five years have been busy since I joined Hall & Kay. Despite some disruption in the market, we’ve seen our sales continue to grow.
Where has the new business come from? We’ve delivered some significant projects in sectors where we see demand growing further, including social housing and public space video, mixed commercial and office developments, heritage sites and schools.
US security and FM managers have had to deal with a succession of emergencies over the last 18 months - spikes in gun violence, protests and civil unrest, and extreme weather events including flash floods, wildfires, air quality deterioration, and extreme heat incidents - all against the ongoing backdrop of COVID-19.
In the last month alone we’ve seen devastating flash floods in Europe and China, a record-breaking ‘heat dome’ over the northwest US and then Turkey, which has extended heatwaves into Algeria, Tunisia, and multiple countries in Southeast Europe, causing numerous localized extreme weather incidents – and records broken – some that are not even making international headlines.
In our last blog, we looked at the cost advantages that NVR-based on-prem video solutions have over VSaaS. Despite all the marketing hype around VSaaS, the established on-prem model offers better value in key areas including lower storage costs and fairer, more transparent pricing models without prohibitive ongoing license fees that can soon mount up. The advantages don’t stop there. Now let’s look at performance.