|Access control growth is driven by several factors|
A major shift from PC-based clients systems to solid state, embedded operating systems, browser-based user interfaces, remote services, and changes in compliance legislation are helping drive the rapidly growing adoption of access control systems in both the residential and commercial security markets. John LaFond, VP of Integrated Systems at Linear LLC, explains these contributing factors as Linear LLC looks towards the future of access control, the second-fastest growing area in the physical security space.
Security, total cost of ownership (TCO) and reliability concerns have sparked a major shift from PC-based client access control and security systems to solid state embedded OS and browser-based user interfaces. As such, market leaders have engineered innovation in this area leading to a significantly higher growth rate.
Advantages of embedded access control systems: lower TCO
The knowledge of IT-friendly embedded browser services has been taken and applied to create products that leverage the reliability and security of solid state computer systems designed for the network, running with an embedded Linux operating system. When compared with PC-based systems, embedded access control products are much less susceptible to risks such as hard drive failures, virus/spyware attacks, and software updates, which can unknowingly take a system offline.
One of the other key advantages of using an embedded access control platform is the lower long-term TCO for users, versus other competitive access control systems. How does an embedded system pull this off? It is out-of-the-box, ready for faster set-up and doesn’t require software to load or manage. This reduces the risk of operating system compatibility issues and the associated issues of loading and configuring software properly.
There is no dedicated workstation hardware or software client to manage, no database software license is required and a common software user can interact across all systems, from basic to more powerful models. Embedded systems are designed to be easily managed by today’s portable devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, as well as traditional PC’s. Lower TCO is achieved because the system eliminates the need for ongoing maintenance.
Demand from multiple markets boost access control growth
Educational institutions from elementary schools to colleges are always looking at how they can improve campus security. Everything from monitoring visitors and restricting access to specific areas, to security cameras and analytics helps make these institutions more secure.
|Today, it is common practice to deploy access control systems in any facility|
There’s also been an increase in churches and other places of worship investing in access control and heightened security. A lot of this is due to the fact that previously there was no system was in place, but the risk of theft or unauthorized entry is added motivation.
Health and long-term care facilities represent one of the most promising markets for access control and security segments. Care facilities are increasingly depending on technology to monitor patients and residents while reducing staffing costs. Increased theft of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, coupled with the desire to create better ‘lockdown’ plans, have driven demand for better accountability and tracking of health and care personnel through access control.
Within the residential security market, multi-dwelling units (MDUs) have invested heavily in access control systems and services for screening visitors and providing better overall security. Particularly, video intercoms have started gaining in popularity, especially in premium MDUs, but telephone entry units remain popular as well.
Today it is common practice to deploy access control systems in any facility. From commercial applications where employees expect their work place is safe to residential home where convenience and control are required.
One of the more recent factors having a positive influence on the adoption of access control is compliance legislation. Whether it’s the Health Information Portability and Privacy Act (HIPPA), or Payment Card Industry Standard, many companies are now legally required to bring access control, security and other systems into compliance with federal laws. Failure to comply can result in fines, loss of insurance, audits, or even civil and criminal penalties.
Increased commitment to safety is another driving factor behind more stringent access control. With the average U.S. workers compensation exposure ranging between $64 and $104 billion and an increase in claims involving more than 30 days away from work (according to Marsh Risk Consulting),companies are finding that it makes sound fiscal sense to mitigate risk as much as possible. Because risks come in many forms, from terminated employees, hazardous areas, and public safety situations to lock outs/ lock downs, and information security breaches, security providers are able to understand the specific risks and make recommendations to customers accordingly.
One of the other key advantages of using this type of access control platform is the lower long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) for users, versus other competitive access control systems
Inventory shrinkage, or the loss of products between point-of-manufacture/purchase from supplier and point-of-sale, is also giving momentum to the sales of access control products. Between employee theft, shoplifting, administrative error and vendor fraud, there are many opportunities for shrinkage to occur, most of which can be safeguarded against with an adequate access control system. More recent occurrences like flash mob robberies are bringing increased awareness and motivating businesses to put in lockdown systems to deal with modern threats.
Environmental factors play their part as well. Whether it’s for a second home in Florida or a chain of remote office or retail locations, people want to receive updates that let them know what’s happening in real time and give them a level of control and access, even if they can’t physically be there.
Security distributors and installers need to understand latest technologies
With embedded access control systems, there is a common hardware and software platform that can be leveraged across many brands with a consistent user interface and control via traditional computers and control pads, as well as mobile devices. On top of all this is a back end utility that provides security dealers with secure remote connectivity to support services. This backend technology is critical for a dealer’s future.
All these advancements mean very little if distributors and dealers don’t understand the solutions that they’re capable of offering to end users.
Budgets for security and access control are increasing for many businesses around the country, especially since a smartly integrated system can reduce shrinkage, improve safety and increase profitability in a number of ways. Security, reliability, cost of ownership and ease of use remain the biggest concerns, but new embedded systems are changing the way businesses can track their employees, facilities and inventory.