November 21, 2023
Balancing Costs While Future Proofing Your Security Strategy


Ronnie Hun is a sterling professional with years of experience in business, management, and administration. He harnesses his wide range of competencies to implement the expansion of his firm in the video surveillance market across the Asia Pacific.

He emphasises a holistic, functional approach to using technology to solve business problems, and this outlook is applied to the services offered by his firm.

D-Ron: What is your view of the potential market growth for the video surveillance market in Singapore and/ or Southeast Asia for 2024 and 2025? 

Ronnie: I think year on year, we should be looking at another 10 to 15% growth. Largely, I think between Singapore and Southeast Asia, if we compare it, in Southeast Asia, we have a lot of developing countries that are going to be modernised and industrialised, and we should see more market share from these countries.

But again, the fact is that there are a lot of pies there for vendors to snatch and you can see a lot more competent competition there as well. So by and large, I think from 2024 to 2025, we should be looking at some good growth in the region.

D-Ron: Do you think, that there might be more growth in Singapore compared to other Southeast Asian regions or it’s all going to be about the same, in your opinion? 

Ronnie: In my opinion, the type of growth that we have here in Singapore in terms of product and solution types might be a little bit different from the developing countries. I think the developing countries are looking more to the total solutions. Here in Singapore, because we have already deployed part of the technology, I would say it’s a different type of product that we’re looking at. For the growth, we should be looking at a bit on the lesser side for Singapore compared to the rest of the market in Southeast Asia.

D-Ron: What are the current new advances in technology in the video surveillance industry that you feel will be prevalent soon?

For example, things like improved video analytics, the integration of AI and machine learning for enhanced video analysis and object recognition. 

Ronnie: Yeah. So if we talk about AI, in fact, as we speak, the AI in video analytics is pretty much advanced because many data sets have been loaded into the AI, and today they can easily recognize a lot of things in a frame of video. It really depends on the computing power of the GPUs that are being used at the backend, on how many cameras it can serve at a time, and how many objects it can detect at a time.

So having said that, we should be looking at a lot of improved video analytics that are associated with the Cloud because that’s one of the ways to really centralise the resources in terms of the computing powers. I’ve seen quite a few products, and there are road maps, or some products with their road maps that are coming up with this advanced AI detection that is even coupled with sound analytics.

Today we do a lot of videos. The video can tell whether the person is fighting or not. There’s a percentage of failure or a percentage of misjudgement by the AI, but coupled with sound analytics, they can actually know whether they are really fighting in terms of their shouting or even if there is any aggression in their voice. So, with such technology, it can actually vastly improve detection accuracy.

So yes, I think this is one of the areas that video analytics will be moving towards.

D-Ron: Do you feel that there are any other advancements, or do you think this is probably where we are at in the current situation? 

Ronnie: I think the next advancement we might be looking at is video. Video is always fixed video images, we mount cameras, and we have fixed video imaging. But I think with the advancement of AI, we should be looking at some dynamic movement of cameras. For example, drone cameras, body-worn cameras, and cameras that are installed on cars. In the past, when AI was loaded into such cameras, the detection was really, really bad.

However, I think with enough data sets, as I mentioned over the years, a lot of data sets were loaded in, you will see more advancements in all these dynamic detections of cameras as well. I think that is another area that you will soon be seeing in the market

D-Ron: What are three key things one should consider when evaluating a video surveillance solution? 

Ronnie: OK. I will first advise the customers on the areas of the future-proofing of their solution. Are the customers looking at the long term or short term? So, future-proofing is one area that I would advise them to consider when they evaluate video surveillance. I presume that video surveillance investment is not cheap. Of course, there are really cheap ones in the market. But in our context, we will always advise our customers on the future-proofing of their system.

The other consideration is cybersecurity which I would always want them to take notice of as well. We have come across vendors that provide products that have a really high risk of “back door” and even got hacked. So, I think cyber security is another thing that I would ask them to really note as well.

And maybe the third thing is the cost that they are willing to pay. Because today, you can get anything from a very cheap system to a very very advanced and expensive system. It’s more of what they really need in terms of their own needs. But customers will always come in and tell you that they want everything on this system. More often than not, they have a realistic budget that is probably at the mid-range type of system, but just not for the top-range types of systems that have everything included.

So budget is one thing that we want them to really consider, because there is always going to be a cost versus performance kind of situation.

Even if they get the best so-called video surveillance solution on the market, if there isn’t education to share with the team on what to do and how to use everything, it can become a bit of a white elephant.

D-Ron: Could you share with me a little bit more on the first point where you spoke about future-proofing? 

Ronnie: OK. So when we talk about future-proofing, we’re talking about how, as a market evolves, you are going to introduce new products and new technology to work with your existing system. So one simple example is that you can have the same brand of products like the cameras, the video recorders, the computers, the servers, et cetera, and they can all work together, but as the market evolves, you can only add on the same brand of products.

So, if this vendor happens to evolve as the market grows, I think that would be good and they will happily just add on to their range of products. But if this vendor doesn’t grow according to what the market demand is, you will have a problem adding other brands of products because it becomes proprietary. So, I think future-proofing is one thing that I would always want to advise my customers, especially if they spend a lot of money on it.

They shouldn’t tie themselves down to be unable to upgrade their system in the future.

D-Ron: How can companies manage data storage costs more effectively?

With the growing volume of high resolution, more data storage is required. As a result, efficient storage solutions are required as well. What do you feel companies can do to manage these costs? 

Ronnie: OK, if we go back to the fundamentals, cameras stream the videos. So I think number one, you can actually look for cameras that have a low bandwidth for streaming. There are such cameras in the market that stream at an extremely low bandwidth, with good quality videos. I think that’s the first way you can actually reduce the storage and consequently, the costs.

The second way is to know the video resolution that you need, because we have clients that actually don’t need such a high level of video sharpness. So, they are actually spending unnecessary money on storage. That will be coupled with the retention of the videos as well. For example, if you only need 30 days of storage, just opt for 30 days, don’t go for 60 days or 90 days, with a bit of a “Kiasu” (being afraid to lose out) mentality. Technically, that would really inflate the cost — when we talk about 30 to 60 days, it’s double the storage, and, that’s like double the price as well. So, the retention, and the video quality are ways you can actually reduce the storage.

And I think the third way is this, assuming you want 90 days or you want 120 days, so there’s technology in the market that actually helps to reduce the video quality as you archive. For example, you can say, “OK, for 30 days, I want the full resolution, full video. Anything above 60 days, you can reduce this resolution to something smaller and then, from 90 days onward, you can reduce it to be even smaller.” And that’s one way that the technology can help as well.

That is just an example, and Milestone Systems, which owns the video management system product that we carry, provides such technology for our clients.

D-Ron: Many organisations seek to integrate their video surveillance systems with other security and IoT devices, or they need to integrate the different video surveillance solutions as part of an integrated system and this can create challenges with integration. What can companies do to ensure smooth integration and interoperability of their video surveillance solutions?

Ronnie: When it comes to the integration, one way is that you can find a video surveillance system that has a lot of ecosystem partners, which means that they already have the integration with these partners. And out there in the market, the top systems are mostly already integrated with if not a thousand, at least hundreds of ecosystem partners, and such products will actually give you the ease of getting yourself integrated to vendors and third-party vendors that you may use in the near future. This is one very easy way that you actually have a smooth integration.

If there’s no choice of any video system out there that is integrated with the system that you want, my suggestion is to find one system that can give you the best output in terms of integration. That means they are ready for you to integrate with other systems. They come with their software development kit (SDK), and they come with their Application Programming Interface (API) that is already explained very well and documented.

That’s where you will have more easy and smooth integration with other systems. As such, futureproofing is important, and there is quite a bit of planning before jumping into any specific solution.

D-Ron: Thank you for your time, you have given us so much insight!



Ronnie Hun is the CEO of D-Ron Singapore Pte Ltd, a position he has occupied for close to two decades. In this administrative capacity, he provides input across various departments to the firm which is present in four APAC countries – Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan.

Ronnie has a solid technology background, having served in the field for defence technologies produced by Singapore’s Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). He is a major advocate for the integration of technological products, and his approach to business development involves the provision of products capable of future integration, and optimal functionality to clients.

You can obtain more valuable information on Ronnie by checking out his LinkedIn page.

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