The key reason for installing an access control system is usually to secure physical access to your buildings or sites. You want to control and log who is entering which area and when. But choose the right system, and the access control benefits can stretch far beyond protecting people, places and possessions.
What are benefits of access control?
The advantages of access control – a host of commercial benefits
- Let access control put people first
Your access control system, and the data it generates, can play a strategic role in helping you boost not just security but productivity, performance, creativity and even happiness. That’s because, for us, the most important thing to consider when it comes to your access control system is the people using it.
We believe security isn’t just about technology – it’s about how people live their lives and about helping them make the most of their days. The right access control system can free people’s minds from security and help them live to their full potential. We call this Security for life and it’s about bringing freedom to the everyday.
- Increase convenience to improve productivity
Let’s look at a simple example. Say you have a large multinational company with several sites. Many employees may need or want to visit a range of your sites regularly. Without a good access control system, they may be faced with several complications that waste time and reduce the likelihood of a mobile, collaborative workforce. They may, for example, have to stand in a long queue at each site to be signed in as a visitor. And then find they can’t log onto the network, send something to print or even move around the building freely.
Perhaps you have a smaller company with just one site where, unless you’re a key holder, you can only access the building during standard working hours. If you prefer to work early in the morning or need to work late on an important pitch you have to borrow a key or work elsewhere.
All of these kinds of barriers to convenience can be prevented with an access control system. Especially one that has the flexibility to incorporate multiple functions on one access card and is standardised across sites and countries.
- Give a personal, well-organised welcome
Another example of a people-focused access control benefit is the opportunity to welcome people appropriately and efficiently. A fully informed receptionist who’s free from the burden of creating visitor cards and other admin can greet guests warmly and attentively. Visitor cards can be created quickly via pre-set workflows and the guests’ hosts can be notified automatically on their arrival.
Contractors, meanwhile, may go direct to a kiosk where they can quickly verify their identify and complete any other necessary procedures before getting on with the job at hand.
- Protect processes, data and business continuity
It’s understandable to think of physical security first when considering access control, but what about protecting your business processes and important data? One of the many advantages of access control is in helping to ensure business continuity. It can, for example, prevent your logistics being disrupted or sensitive data being leaked – both of which can have disastrous consequences for your turnover and your reputation.
You can also use your access control system to optimise your business processes. When linked to other systems, such as your HR database for example, it can help to dramatically reduce administration. Information only needs to be entered once and updates automatically.
- Maximise your space
As well as protecting your buildings, another valuable benefit of an access control system is that it can help you use them more efficiently. Your access control system may reveal, for example, that a building is very quiet on Mondays or the last week of each month. With this information, you may decide to only open some floors during the periods when you know it’ll be quiet. Or you may find you can manage with a smaller space altogether.
- The benefits of access control that’s open and flexible
Of course, to reap the great benefits of access control, you need to select a great system. AEOS, developed by Nedap, was the first software-based access control system and is now trusted around the world.
AEOS is built on open standards and can integrate with an extensive range of other technologies, from biometric readers to video monitoring and wireless locks. This, and AEOS’s extreme flexibility, gives you a myriad of possibilities for tailoring your system to your specific needs. It enables you to remain compliant with global or regulatory policies while adapting each site to local needs.
- Access control that can grow and change with you
You’d expect a good access control system to last at least 10 years, so this ability to flex and scale to suit your future needs is crucial. With AEOS, you can start small and expand your system and its functionalities gradually. The hardware used is the same for both large and small companies, and the pricing and architecture are designed to scale with your needs. Our Global Client Programme is also available for multinationals looking to streamline access control faster and more easily.
- The protector is protected
It’s easy to forget that access control needs protecting too – what’s to stop someone hacking into your system and overriding it? Fortunately, AEOS’s end-to-end security is designed to protect your physical access control system from cyber-attacks and meets the highest security requirements globally.
Look beyond physical access control
In conclusion, one of the crucial things to remember is that access control isn’t just about controlling access. To maximise your investment, it’s vital to look into the wider benefits an access control system can offer. Also, make sure you establish how you’ll measure the success of your system and the value it brings so you can keep refining and optimising it.
And, most important of all, remember that people – and how they live each day – should be the key focus when choosing, designing and using your access control system.
Want to learn more about access control and AEOS?
Download our whitepaper on 5 steps to finding the right access control system for you
Frequently asked questions
At a very basic level, access control is a means of controlling who enters a location and when. The person entering may be an employee, a contractor or a visitor and they may be on foot, driving a vehicle or using another mode of transport. The location they’re entering may be, for example, a site, a building, a room or a cabinet. We tend to call it physical access control to differentiate it from access control that prevents people from entering virtual spaces – for example when logging into a computer network.
If you decide to use an access control system, it’s probably because you want to secure the physical access to your buildings or sites to protect your people, places and possessions. That’s just the start for access control systems though. The right system, used well, can add value in a range of ways. You can use it, and the data it generates, to boost not just security but productivity, creativity and performance.
Today, physical security is about so much more than locks and bolts. Many modern physical access control systems are IP-based, powered by smart software and able to process large quantities of data. This provides more functionality, flexibility, scalability and opportunities for integration. It also means they’re part of your IT network, so it’s essential they’re protected and upgraded – just like your other IT systems.
From our perspective, a centralised access control system is always preferable – whether you have just two locations in the same town or hundreds spread around the world. Centralising your access control brings a range of far-reaching benefits.
For the people using your building, biometrics can give a better experience compared to an access badge. These days, biometrics are used for both identification and verification – sometimes even both at the same time. Being allowed to enter your building just by scanning your hand or face makes access control more convenient than ever.
Mechanical keys are the simplest form of physical access control and the method many smaller organisations use. Even for a small company, however, using mechanical keys has several flaws and limitations – especially as an organisation gets bigger. Below are just some of the problems presented by using keys.