Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
24th May 2023 Issue no. 657
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Beyond security: the business benefits of integrated video surveillance & access control
Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, considers the business benefits of integrated video and access control and explains the access control as-a-service model (ACaaS).
As physical security gets smarter, it creates significant opportunities for innovation that can have impact beyond its traditional purpose and deliver real business benefits on a broader scale. The digitalisation of video camera data, for example, means that it can be combined with other business functions to improve the way they work, often delivering significant cost savings at the same time.
Consider access control. Typically, access control is a part of a building or office manager's responsibility, but the process is often simple and has little oversight. If a keycard is presented, a door will open, regardless of who is using the keycard or whether or not they are supposed to be at work on a given day. Managing the system and looking for potential security breaches is often a manual task, which is a low priority.
Improving on an existing function
Alternatives do exist. Fingerprint readers offer a second factor of authentication, confirming the card holder's identity, but they require extra investment in hardware which isn't always accurate and can't be remotely maintained. They aren't always practical either, in environments where there are large numbers of people moving around, or protective gear must be worn.
As business functions digitalise, however, better ways of securing the workplace via access control emerge. IP-networked video cameras, which can be connected to cloud platforms for analytics and other features provide a wealth of real-time information that can be put to use beyond the traditional applications of surveillance.
Digital transformation of access control
In the case of access control, what the digitalisation of physical security and cloud computing enable is a far more elegant solution, in which data from the video surveillance network is combined with data from access control - and other sources - into a single platform for a truly smart, efficient and secure system.
In this scenario, facial recognition software provides the second factor guarantee of the card holder's identity. It's seamless for the employee, and overcomes many of the challenges of fingerprint biometrics, not least from a cost perspective, as an organisation is leveraging equipment that it already owns via a software platform, rather than having to invest in new hardware and installation. Even better, security protocols, such as who has access to which areas and at which time, can be managed remotely too.
Using intelligence to unlock business benefits
In a traditional scenario, a security specialist might install cameras to reduce incidents of theft and shrinkage, and a separate access control system for staff entering and leaving the building. Integrating these functions into a single platform creates the potential to incorporate valuable extra functions. The intelligence that these systems provide can be put to many uses to improve business operations.
In a retail environment, for example, managers can use data from store surveillance cameras, combined with access control information from the stock room, to determine how much time staff spend with customers on the shop floor versus time spent searching for products in the stock room. In a busy factory, cameras on entranceways combined with data from automated turnstiles can speed up worker access to the operating floor, ensuring timely shift changes.
It's now possible to envisage many use cases for integrated access control systems that go way beyond simply opening doors. With benefits across multiple industries and very little required in the form of upfront investment due to easy integration with existing IP-connected technologies, integrated access control systems stand to become a powerful tool, able to take valuable data and produce insights that will revolutionise operations and improve people management.
ACaaS - scalable and affordable access control
Access control-as-a-service (ACaaS) is a great example of how the digitalisation of physical security can deliver wider business benefits. Access control in the cloud is highly scalable and unlocks an "as a service" business model in which security is delivered on a pay-per-use basis, rather than as a large up-front investment. ACaaS fits into operational budgets and cuts down on large expenditure.
The physical security industry, which is often used to selling hardware on narrow margins,
is slowly coming round to the benefits of this model. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licenses rather than up-front purchases won't be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive. The IT world adopted these models years ago, and will increasingly crossover with traditional security integrators as hardware becomes another device in a complex network of connected things.
Find out more about access control as a service: https://morphean.com/use_case/simplify-physical-access-management/
25th March 2020