Quest for the perfect tech partner for a seamless access control experience

Evaluating the robustness of access control solutions

Based on our comprehensive analysis of modern workplace security and industry trends, we present the concluding installment of our new blog series on exploring the future of work. In this final post, we focus on the crucial factors that drive the seamless integration of access control systems to the ever-evolving work environment.

In today’s fast-paced world, time is of the essence. Waiting in line or being stuck in security bottlenecks can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience. This is where a solid tech partner comes in to improve the user and employee experience. However, it isn’t always easy to find the right tech partner.

Based on our extensive experience in the access control system industry, we have developed a concise 8-point checklist to help you assess the capabilities of a potential tech partner.

  1. Minimises bottlenecks & wait times

Eliminating bottlenecks and wait times will happen by enabling an access control system that is efficient and speedy. The right tech partner will ensure that employees and users can access the premises quickly and easily, reducing wait times and minimising frustration.

Pro-tip : This requires organizations and partners to be equipped with multiple modes of authentication, providing access based on different user needs and preferences. For example, access cards may work well for employees, while other users might require flexible authentication methods such as QR codes, Face Recognition, or Mobile Access. It is essential to consider a range of authentication options to ensure seamless and secure access for all individuals involved.

Technology should offer flexibility and be more context-aware to adapt to diverse situations quickly. Eg. For a less secure, high-footfall area, flap barriers can be put in normally open mode and be closed only when an unauthorised person is detected. This makes the flow much easier for authorised persons.

  1. Enables policy-based automation workflows

The right partner will offer policy-based automation workflows that streamline the access control process. With such a partner, you can define policies for different groups of users and automate access control, freeing up your time to focus on other critical tasks.

Pro-tip : All users and areas are not equal. Some sites may require limited access for authorized personnel and may require 2FA to avoid the risk of lost or stolen credentials. The system shall be capable of managing complex permissions, and the process for granting access must also be flexible.

The registration and approval process should be completed before the actual site visits so that the authentication and authorisation process can be smooth. Also, automation in terms of electronic access control, as opposed to physical access control, can essentially save time.

  1. Works seamlessly with your existing PACS

The right tech partner will work seamlessly with your existing PACS, eliminating the need for costly upgrades or replacements. This makes it easier and more cost-effective to implement access control solutions.

Pro-tip : Modern Access control solutions have been around since the 1970s, and it is highly likely that any existing organisation has implemented some form of technology. While new-age solutions are highly recommended, it is challenging to justify RoI for ‘rip and replace’ the old card/fingerprint system, expressly if the problem area is limited to a few doors or use cases.

In such cases, it is best to start small and install a solution that can work with existing systems (at least on reporting end). This ensures faster go-live and better RoI for new-age systems.

  1. Centralised cloud-based access management across multiple locations

This is key. Providing centralised cloud-based access management across multiple areas will make it easier to manage access control across different sites. This feature is handy for organisations with multiple locations or remote workers.

Pro-tip : Access control solutions have been designed to function even if there is a network failure. However, this meant that the system shall reside inside the on-prem servers protected behind the firewalls, preventing avenues for real-time and remote access and management. However, organisations today are far more adapted to the cloud and have a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure.

Modern Access control systems have smart controllers that regularly sync with cloud-based access control software and 3rd party software such as HRMS, SSO, Visitor management and space management software.

While they are fully prepared to function with current data in case of network failure, secure connection ensures real-time management, insight sharing and centralised data reporting. Hosting the entire solution on the cloud is far more cost-effective, especially for smaller and distributed facilities.

  1. Helping you say goodbye to traditional keys

The right partner will be able to elevate the experience by transforming every door, turnstile, and access point with simple, innovative, and secure digital access. This will make it easier for employees and the user(s) to access the premises and enhance their everyday experience at access control checkpoints.

Pro-tip : While RFID or Proximity Cards have been the primary mode of authentication, there is a lot of risk and hassle associated with lost, stolen and forgotten cards. Issuing, deactivating and reusing access cards is costly and time-consuming. Millennial and Gen Z employees prefer using Smartphones and privacy-friendly Biometrics for easy yet secure access, ensuring ease of authentication and authorization.

Hybrid work has accelerated the need for a more flexible authentication key that can be issued and revoked easily and does not require a physical asset transfer such as a card or tags. Even Parking stickers are now replaced with License plate recognition and mobile access.

  1. Real-time occupancy data with AI-powered automation

By providing real-time occupancy data with AI-powered automation, a good tech partner will enable your organisation to make data-driven decisions. This feature is handy for managing capacity and enforcing social distancing protocols.

Pro-tip : While Access Control is instrumental in securing the premises, it collects invaluable data on the movement of people and assets. If adequately utilised, access control can provide great insights into employee preferences, user behaviour around hybrid work, and space utilisation. It is excellent for mapping building occupancy and real estate utilisation insights.

Real-time occupancy data with AI-powered automation using access control
  1. Seamless Integration with Third-Party Systems

An Access control solution must offer a robust API ecosystem, enabling businesses to integrate the platform with third-party systems. This integration allows for a seamless user experience and ensures that companies can continue to utilise existing systems. The right partner will ensure that this is managed efficiently.

Pro-tip : For effective RoI on access control solutions, it’s necessary to have seamless integrations with core systems as well as new-age systems such as CRM, Space Management, Employee Experience Apps, Inventory management, field force & workforce management.

Managing all integrations directly with the access control layer is not only cost-intensive but also has risks to overall business continuity. A modern approach necessitates a cloud-based integration platform that syncs between Access Control and 3rd party systems. This ensures faster Go Live for new tools without compromising on compliance.

  1. Flexibility for Businesses of All Sizes

A good tech partner will offer the right combination of cloud and on-premise deployment, providing flexibility for businesses of all sizes. A centralised cloud-based access management system allows multi-site organisations to easily manage access control across multiple locations.

Flexibility for businesses of all sizes with cloud and on-premise deployment
  1. Enterprise-Grade Encryption and Security Features

A good tech partner will prioritise enterprise-grade encryption and security to protect businesses from cyber threats. The access control solution will provide top-of-the-line security features to ensure data privacy and protection against unauthorised access.

Pro-tip : Access control systems secure critical business areas and hold essential information, including PII and sensitive PII such as biometrics and location-sensitive data. As per significant privacy and security compliance frameworks such as GDPR, CCPA, OWASP and ISO standards, such information shall be adequately safeguarded.

Data encryption, retention, application security, and network security are crucial components that are essential to ensuring the integrity of any access control solution, even when hosted on on-premise data centres. These elements collectively contribute to a robust and comprehensive approach to providing a secure environment to a reliable access control system.

  1. Integration with Top Industry Providers

As a means of enhancing the capabilities of an access control solution, a good tech partner will offer a platform that seamlessly integrates with top industry providers. This integration enables a more holistic and efficient access control system, leveraging the expertise and resources of trusted industry leaders.

This integration should enable businesses to utilize the best-in-class systems from partners, giving you the confidence that your business is ready to tackle the challenges of the digital age with a secure, scalable, and seamlessly integrated solution that you can rely on.

Conclusion: Choosing an Access Control System Tech Partner

Ensure to thoroughly evaluate these pointers before finalizing a tech partner for your organization. While our series on exploring the future of work based on modern workplace security concludes here, we have much more in the works for you. Stay tuned, as we continue to provide you with a wealth of valuable insights and updates.

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