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Unlocking Access Control Benefits

At the start of each workday, as people around the world head into the office, chances are their smartphones are close by. What’s also possible, though, is that someone will forget their access card — an inconvenience for the employee, and an issue for workplace security, as well.

Technology developments of recent years have delivered us to the point where combining mobility and access is possible, with the right approach. And the opportunity to do so is undeniable; according to the 2015 GSMA Global Mobile Economy Report, we’ll see 5.9 billion smart phones in use by 2020. In comparison, 2014 saw an estimated 2.6 billion smart phones put to use, so the estimated increase is significant. 

The opportunity to combine mobility and access control presents many benefits for occupants and building managers alike. Occupants benefit from being able to move freely about a facility without having to worry about carrying another item. In tandem, those who manage facilities can leverage technology already in use; there’s no need to print or distribute badges, and the process of tracking and replacing lost cards, or retrieving cards when employees leave an organization, is essentially eliminated—saving valuable time and money.

Perhaps this all sounds good, but how do you put it into practice in your building? Embracing the concept of mobile-based access control is one thing, but making it a reality still requires covering a number of bases to ensure adequate security. To put this concept into practice, consider the following best practices:
  • What's currently in use? Take stock of the varying credential types currently in use, and what they’re used to achieve, to make the most of a migration to a mobility-based system. This can include cashless vending, time and support, secure printing management, and, of course, facility access—all things that historically have required different types of card readers.
  • Are you ready for the change? Consider your security requirements, functional requirements and the corresponding organizational need to adapt to this change. Migrating constituents to a digital identification system — which forms the backbone of mobile access — is a culture change that requires adequate communication and preparation.
  • What do you want to accomplish with the new system? Determine your end objective and involve the right stakeholders, including facility management personnel, as well as IT decision makers.