Why Move Your Access Control To The Cloud?

By Maximilian Schuetz
April 18, 2018

In the past companies ran their access control system on a physical computer in their buildings, but cloud systems allow companies now to manage and control their doors through the internet. When you update your payroll (NamelyJustworksGusto etc.), you’re using cloud computing. Checking your company bank balance on your phone? You are in the cloud again. Chances are you rely more and more on cloud computing to solve challenges faced by a growing company – firing off emails, overseeing accounting and a bunch of other apps that help you manage your workload.

So why should you also move your door access control system to the cloud? It’s because it increases efficiency and security of your company which makes you ultimately more competitive. Check out the ten reasons below:

1. Flexibility

Cloud-based access control is ideal for growing businesses with fluctuating workforces (e.g. freelances, interns, contractors etc.). Centrally managing and monitoring access rights across office locations provides the agility for a growing business and the real advantage over competitors.

2. Compliance

You need to submit the access log of your offices on a monthly basis? With cloud-based access control you simply log into the web portal and download the relevant data. No more transferring data from on-premise systems.

3. Automatic software updates

The beauty of cloud access control systems is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your way. Suppliers manage the servers and release regular software updates – including new features and security updates – so you don’t have to waste time maintaining the different systems across your locations. That way you can focus on the things that matter and help grow your business.

4. Capital-expenditure Free

Cloud access control systems cut out the high cost of hardware and let you simply pay as you go. The subscription-based model optimizes your cash flow. The ease of setup and the management of the system saves you also considerable internal resources.

5. Increased collaboration

Your team can access and edit access rights anytime from anywhere with a cloud-based access control. This allows more efficient work flows without losing control. The different admin roles and the visibility let you empower your team mates without losing any control.

6. Work from anywhere

With cloud access control you can manage and monitor access to your offices from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. That way your office is never at risk of being accessed by retired employees or contractors.

7. Synchronized data

The more employees collaborate with external partners and freelancers the greater the need to have a watertight access control system in place. Before cloud systems workers had to receive and eventually hand back access cards. Sooner or later you end up with a chaos where people still have access to your offices but are no longer affiliated with your company. This is a huge risk for your business and your employees.

When introducing a cloud access management system, all access rights are stored centrally and can be seen with a few mouse clicks. You can easily update the system with the latest list of people who should have access to the offices and even set expiration dates of keys to be compliant.

8. Security 

Greater than the loss of expensive equipment is the loss of sensitive data which puts your company at risk. Updating the access control system from anywhere gives you the agility to update or delete access rights immediately. Furthermore you can synchronize floor access rights with your HR database.

9. Competitiveness

Cloud access control systems are real time and allow you to act faster than on-premise systems. Moving to the cloud with your access control gives you access to enterprise-class technology for all your locations. Remain lean and nimble while having an access control system of the big boys.

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Phone-based systems are not just a small-business solution. CEO of Kisi, Bernhard Mehl, comments: “If you see the average of three doors connected then that might seem low but, in reality, one door relates to around 50 employees—so those are locations with about 150 people on average, including satellite offices. That’s quite significant.”

Mobile Access Control Adoption by Industry

Kisi examined which industries are investing the most in mobile access control technology. To do so, the average size of mobile access control installation projects by industry were measured. Commercial real estate topped the list with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Education management came in last with 1.0 door running mobile access per facility. 

Physical Security Statistics: Mobile Access by Industry


The number of shooting incidents at K-12 schools, according to the CHDS, reached an all-time high at 97 incidents in 2018—compared to 44 in 2017. Cloud-based access control companies, like Kisi, offer a lockdown feature for active shooter situations or emergencies, making it an effective protective layer for places that are targeted, such as religious institutions, which come in near the top of the list with 4.0 doors running mobile access per facility. 

Based on industry size, it makes sense that commercial real estate tops the list, with 23.5 doors running mobile access per facility. Cloud-based access control enables these larger organizations to scale more seamlessly and allows large organizations, like telecommunications, to deploy the most manageable IT solutions available, eliminating the need to create and manage a business’s own IT infrastructure over time.

“Commercial real estate is, of course, the driver of mobile adoption since they have the largest buildings,” Mehl adds. “The key here is to show that mobile-first technologies are not a risk but an innovation that brings positive ROI and allows agencies to reposition their buildings as forward-thinking establishments.”

The scalabelilty and ease of use in onboarding an organization allows many different types of industries and businesses of different sizes to adapt a cloud-based access control system, either using keycard or mobile credentials for access. 


Mobile Access Control by State

Looking specifically at the United States, Kisi analyzed in which states companies are investing the most into upgrading to smartphone-enabled access systems. Of the currently installed base of access control readers, around 20 percent will be mobile capable by 2022, according to a recent IHS report. Cloud-based systems, like Kisi, are future-proof—allowing over-the-air updates in real time and unlimited scalability for users.


“Mobile unlock technology makes you think of the major tech hubs like New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles,” Mehl adds. “Looking at which states have the largest projects, it’s surprising and refreshing that those are not the typical ‘tech cities, and yet that’s where access control technology really makes an impact.” The fact that the largest projects are seen in states outside of the typical tech startup landscape is evidence that mobile access control is highly applicable across industry sectors.


For further questions about this study, reach out to Kait Hobson (kait@getkisi.com)

Maximilian Schuetz

Max is the COO and co-founder of Kisi.

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