The NRF Protect conference is the largest event for loss prevention in North America. In 2016 conference was held in mid-June and brought together hundreds of asset protection and shrink specialists in Philadelphia to discuss the challenges many retail organizations are facing today — from supply chain management, to ransomware threats, to advanced facial analytics.

One session that stood out explored the challenges and benefits of migrating video systems from analog to Internet Protocol (IP). Many retail stores haven’t made this transition yet.

But as their outdated systems are breaking down, turning to IP video will bring retailers the technical and physical security they need — inevitably providing more flexibility, ease of use, and higher quality video than their current analog systems.

What good is security footage if it’s pixelated and difficult to analyze? One of the main selling points of IP video camera systems is picture quality and clarity. For loss prevention managers striving to improve the safety of their retail space, it’s critical to have high-quality video data that can actually be used when needed. This is true not just for monitoring shoplifting and shrinkage. For video analytics to sufficiently analyze and extract useful data from customer shopping behaviors and heat mapping, the camera source must have the ability to produce high-quality video — the higher the resolution, the better. Although IP video is thought of as an investment, the real investment is the protection of retail space.

Across the retail market, video-based data is being captured from growing centralized systems. The integration of analytics is providing value for retailers not only for loss prevention, but also in other use cases that enable retail organizations to be successful. Monitoring shopping behavior, point of sale (POS) system integration, and ad serving based on demographics are just a few of the retail applications that are creating an urgent need for an intelligent video storage solution that empowers security professionals to turn insights into action.