While the physical security industry often focuses on video surveillance as a top priority, access control technology is actually a significant part of the market as well. In fact, experts expect the North American access control market to grow at a rate of more than 8 percent a year through 2017, giving value-added resellers a compelling opportunity to expand their access control offering sooner rather than later.
Here we take a look at some of the leading access control technologies that you should pay attention to in 2016—and beyond:
As security customers seek a higher level of flexibility and lower total cost of ownership, wireless locks are becoming ever more popular. By leveraging Wi-Fi or Extended Access Control infrastructure, wireless locks can easily be added to a new or existing access control system without having to modify the door or run cable. While sales of wireless locks have been on the rise in recent years, they’re expected to grow even more in 2016.
Throughout 2016, there will be an even greater demand for integrated security solutions, with customers looking for access control technologies that can be easily integrated with other systems. This helps your customers gain even more value from their access control technology through improved insight into incidents, faster response, and more. For example, a growing number of universities are integrating their access control, emergency notification, and video surveillance systems, which is helping officials detect and respond to emergency situations faster than ever.
Networked access control.
While offline locks are still very applicable in certain situations, networked card readers are becoming increasingly popular every year. Internet-enabled access control devices give customers more advanced feature sets, greater integration capabilities, and improved scalability. In addition, they enable end users to access certain features from remote desktops and mobile devices, all through cloud capabilities (see below).
Cloud-based access control.
By sending certain access control functions “to the cloud,” your customers can benefit from exciting new features, such as remote access and management of certain functions. For example, during an emergency, many school officials want to be able to remotely lock down buildings on campus, which is now possible using the cloud-based features of their access control management software.
Cloud-based services are also enabling the growing trend of Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), which is expected to be one of the fastest-growing areas of physical security in 2016. In this set-up, the customer is not only using the cloud for data storage; it’s also where their entire access control infrastructure is hosted.
By making use of off-site servers, ACaaS enables customers to save money on their initial access control investment, while also keeping ongoing maintenance costs and commitment to a minimum. Although day-to-day functions such as cardholder activation, lockdown, and reporting can still be done on site, the heavy lifting is taken care of by the ACaaS provider.
ACaaS is becoming especially popular with smaller customers—mainly those with 30 or fewer doors to secure—such as schools, doctors’ offices, and city government facilities. With a service-based access control solution, your customers will enjoy lower up-front costs and will not need in-house expertise for managing their servers. Meanwhile, you benefit by creating a new recurring revenue stream, if you opt to establish a vendor-hosted access control solution, as many integrators are doing.
What other access control trends do you expect to stand out in 2016? Which are you planning to add to your product offering?