Choosing and deploying an access control system is a relatively complex decision, and there are a few challenges that could become a risk to productivity. Having the right security partner working with you and your team will prevent and mitigate risks.
However, no matter the chosen solution, an access control system will impact multiple aspects of your business. Impact minimization measures that are considered and initiated with your security partner during the planning process will ensure business continuity.
Cost should directly reflect the benefit to business security and operations. A business operator will need to consider ongoing costs associated with hardware maintenance, annual software licensing, and person per hour investment.
The initial cost of the system is based on several key components:
• Number of buildings or locations to be secured
• Number of doors to be secured
• Number of credential holders
• Computer hardware or virtualization to be augmented
• Integration to other systems such as video surveillance or intrusion detection
• IT department time commitment to support the deployment
• Human resources, facilities, and other departmental training
The often overlooked, ongoing costs will include:
• Human resources: user management and credential purchases
• IT department: software updates and computer hardware maintenance
• Installer contracts: component maintenance
• Vendor contracts: annual Software Maintenance Agreements (SMA)
When a new access control system is deployed, company personnel will have new procedures to follow. They may need to carry and display an ID badge or programmed key fob to access the building as well as secure interior areas. Doors that used to be left open for easy access may now be closed and require a free hand to open. Short cuts through the facility may now require a new travel route.
Security will improve as the procedures are followed. Sensitive corporate information will be kept from unauthorized access and visitors will be screened prior to entry. Accountability will improved with activity logs and electronic awareness of facility and sensitive area access.
Areas that are off limits to untrained personnel will be controlled. The risk of injury, or worse, will be reduced. Compliance with OSHA and local jurisdictional authorities will be streamlined, avoiding costly fines and potential stop-work orders.
System Deployment at a Glance
A simple access control system may include a handful of doors to be controlled with only a few dozen employees using the system. This would require a database, user interface software program, and door control hardware. The system allows doors to be opened when an authorized user presents her credentials and remains secure when an unauthorized credential is presented. It will also remain secure if someone simply pulls on the door.
In a complex system, each door in the system will be treated the same as a door in a simple system. However, there will be far more doors to address. Likewise, a complex system typically involves far more users in the system. These users can be included in the software database, or in some cases, IT departments include the access control system in their LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) database to simplify human resources operations. Users may be placed into smaller user groups with a variety of access “levels”, such as basic facility access or limited access to sensitive administrative spaces.
Cost Sources at a Glance
• Planning meetings
• IT hardware/virtualization
• IT time investment
• System and door hardware installation
• Door replacements and modifications
• Software licensing
• Software Maintenance Agreements
• Integration to additional systems
• Support contracts
Evaluation and Deployment
Choosing an access control system is a complex decision. There will be expected, and unexpected, challenges that are unique your business and operational needs.
Our Solutionists have extensive experience with access control manufacturing leaders and will provide a perfect match to your unique business needs. Our years of experience ensure minimal impact on operations during installation and we’ll provide ongoing, expert support throughout the life of the solution.