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The access control market is changing, writes John Allen, Business Development Manager, Access Control, Axis Communications.
It’s recently been reported that in 2017, for the second consecutive year, access control technology was the fastest growing sector in the global physical security industry, now accounting for 24 per cent of the entire market . This upwards trend, which is expected to continue in 2018, has been attributed to the shift from traditional proprietary (closed) solutions to open IP technology, creating improvements in product and management performance.
Access control is actually a relatively simple concept. It is a solution that helps manage personnel through different gateways and doors into specific areas. It is also a ubiquitous solution, utilised in factories, hospitals, retail stores, transportation networks and many other industries throughout the world. In recent years, there has been a revolution at the door. In the same way that Axis pioneered network video technology, revolutionising the world of CCTV, we are doing the same with access control.
What’s wrong with traditional access control technology? A traditional access control system ties the door control device to bespoke administration software, which will perform its required security function. More sophisticated, and costly systems can offer added features, but all are limited to the manufacturer’s specification. This is because they are closed systems, designed by vendors who develop the entire product, from controllers and credentials to the software. This ensures system operation but also includes a lack of flexibility, which may suit vendors of the past as it means they can sell a complete access control solution. For the end user, however, this is an inflexible approach that does not offer the system options end users may need as their own requirements change over time.
The lack of flexibility a closed solution offers is a real sticking-point for end users. It means that often as an organisation grows, it must install an entirely new access control system and completely remove the old, a time consuming an expensive headache. This process is often repeated years down the line when requirements change again.
The benefits of IP
Shifting to an IP based solution unlocks a new set of possibilities. As an IoT device, it is able to more simply connect with other systems or devices on a network, such as IP video cameras. For example, if an employee presents a credential to a door to gain access to an area, a video camera may identify that the person presenting the credential is not the permitted holder of the card, thus automatically creating an alert and preventing access. Further integration with other systems, such as HR, could highlight a potential intruder. In this scenario, if the credentials of an employee on annual leave attempts entry to a building it may beg the question: who is holding the card?
The future of access control is IP and it is open. The possibilities are endless if the technology is considered as an IoT solution, rather than access control alone. The scalability and flexibility of IP means an end-user can begin with a solution they need, and then easily scale up as the requirements of the business change. A solution for now and in the future.
Learn more about IP enabled access control solutions: https://www.axis.com/products/access-control.