Every business, no matter how small or big, has an access control system. It is actually one of the most critical elements of running a business. This is because reliable and efficient access to your business, including your staff, your products and services, and your data, is the heart of your business security.
Experts say that access control is the first line of defense of every business. So, it’s very important for business owners and office managers to understand the system in its entirety
What Is Access Control?
For nontechnical people, the term – access control – may seem slightly mysterious. But the truth is an access control system is simply the system of software and hardware that facilitates the security of your business. This includes how employees and visitors enter the physical office, the types of locks used to secure the office, and even how you track and monitor movement throughout the office.
Most systems today largely rely on authentication of a person’s identity to gain access to a specific area in a large office building. This prevents intruders or unannounced visitors in crowded or high traffic buildings.
Years ago, a business’ access control system was simply a receptionist or a front desk visitor sheet. But of course, with the advancement of technology, more reliable and efficient systems are available. These include:
- Key or Access Cards
- Passwords and Pin Codes
- Mobile Apps and Barcodes
How to Choose the Best Access Control System for Your Business
When a business is growing, it’s necessary to upgrade the access control system to appropriately handle the growing traffic and valuable assets housed in the office.
But how do you identify the right system? And how should you choose the most appropriate combination of technology? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How reliable is your existing access control system?
Are you using a visitor management platform for check-in and check out processes or are you still using the manual applications like pen and paper? Do you have security cameras around the vicinity of your workplace? Do you use biometrics or key cards for authorization? Whatever solution or system that you currently have, is it reliable enough to protect you from any risk?
Questions like these will help you analyze and consider all the factors that affect your current access control system.
- Check if the technology is Integrated with an existing security system
If you are planning an upgrade and are now in the process of elimination, one of the most important factors to consider is if your preferred new system is integrated with your existing one.
Will it work effectively with your current security system? Or will it just cancel out the whole process? Will it just serve as a redundant system that will only double the cost? For example, do you have electric locks on your doors? These can phase into an advanced access control system very easily, while traditional locks and keys will likely have to be replaced.
In cases like this, it is best if you consult with specialists. And if you have your own security team in your business, include them in the process of selection and elimination. They will know if your new system will work hand-in-hand with the current one.
- Smart home technologies make life more convenient
When choosing a new access control system or solution for your business, consider its connectivity and reliability, especially in terms of how ‘smart’ and intuitive the gadgets are Can the new system learn from user behavior and draw insights to help better plan your business?
In a similar vein, you may want to consider a system that you can efficiently oversee and control even when you are at home or far away from your workplace. Thanks to cloud technology, many access control systems allow you to grant or monitor access to buildings from a remote location.
- Can you easily use this system?
Another thing that you must consider when choosing for the right access control system or solution is its ease of use and convenience. There are certain solutions that are high-tech and have powerful capabilities, yet they are difficult to manage.
Quite obviously, you must go with the one that caters to your overall convenience. But even so, keep in mind that adopting any new technology requires patience and adjusting to the natural learning curve.
- What are the security features?
Aside from the system’s convenience and reliability, you must, of course, take its efficiency and effectiveness into consideration. Does the system in question require any expensive add-ons or costly maintenance fees? Does it solve the problem or concern you really want to address? This is actually one of the most essential factors that you must look after.
It’s easy to get distracted by the bells and whistles of an innovative technology. And the list of products that come along with these systems is extensive. So it will help you, in the long run, to first compare the solutions by their features and specifications and stay focused on the main goal of a new access control system.
- Is it easy to maintain the system?
There are access control systems today that are highly effective and reliable but too difficult to maintain. One great example of this is when your business focuses on non-essential services. Of course, having a high-tech system with innovative solutions are pretty appealing. But is it really applicable and easy to maintain in the long run?
Now, the current market offers plenty of access control systems and solutions. However, it is worth remembering that not all systems will work perfectly within your business. Whether it is the number of employees in the office, or the layout of the building itself, there will always be a unique feature of an office that will highlight the benefits of one system. In the end, your business needs and models will indicate which system or solution you must utilize.