David Evans Nedap
David Evans
Global Clients Manager

There’s a long running television program called the Antiques Roadshow. Whether or not you want to admit you watch it, is up to you. But I confess: It’s a pretty great show that I’ve never missed an episode of. In fact, I can even draw some metaphors to physical access control from it. But let’s back up a second for those of you who aren’t familiar with the show at all.

Antiques Roadshow originated in the UK, and there are now several international versions of the show. It’s that popular! The premise being total strangers haul in their suspected antiques aka junk and/or “dusty stuff” to be examined and valued by auction house experts. Sometimes, owners of said antiques are shocked to learn that their goods are worth huge sums of money (you can see one of these examples of “The Rolex Guy” to get an idea of the stories behind the show).

But, what does any of this have to do with physical access control systems (PACS)?  I’m glad you asked…


The difficult part first: Some ugly truths about access control

More often than not, these antiques I mentioned at the start of this blog were sitting in someone’s basement—long forgotten. When their owners decide it’s time to dust it off and take a good look at what they actually have, it’s not so much different than underappreciated, underutilised, and undervalued treasure sitting in your company headquarters’ basement?

Think about the last time you started a new fancy job, somewhere with its own corporate campus, let’s say. The C-suite probably sat the top of one of the towers of the complex . You probably took an elevator up to the fancy HR office, signed your contract, got shown your desk or office with a view, and then you were told to “report to the basement level” to get your security ID/key card. Just because access control systems don’t tend to be “bling bling” and shiny, they’re often overlooked and ignored when they’re crucial to your business.

If we’re being completely honest, when was the last time someone invited you to come and have a look at (or bragged) about their new fancy….card readers?  If you’re a security manager or leader, you know this already. You’ve probably been shouting about the possibilities of physical access control since its inception, or since the IoT revolution. But because 90% of access control systems are hidden away, they go un-noticed. Their potential as a business driver, changer, and influencer never gets realised.

But what if we told you that our expert appraisers at Nedap Security Management could come to where you are, visit your town like on Antiques Roadshow, and tell the watching crowds what we’ve found?

“We’ve found a treasure! Let’s put it on display and show it off. Let’s see what this system can do!”

Granted, it doesn’t have to be that theatrical, but let’s face it. All too often, physical security is seen as a “grudge purchase”— something that must be done to either simply tick a box and say the facility is “secure,” or because its mandated by regulations.

A lot of the time, physical security is automatically bundled with IT security as one cost center for security budget. And in my experience, I’ve seen upwards of 95% of that one budget going to IT security. This means that physical security leaders are having to fight for that remaining 5% (which can feel like pennies).


It’s time to change (more than) the narrative

For too long, there’s been a reluctance to invest in physical security. This can lead to problems that increase the organisational risk landscape. The results of this under-investment are only felt after incidents occur, and by then the damage has possibly been done in multiple ways—to your people, your property, and to your brand’s reputation.

So, if you can show clearly how access control can bring more value to the business, before there’s an incident, then it helps you validate more budget. If there’s a way to present access control as a business enabler, you can help change the view that security is merely an expenditure. Because a properly designed PACS can have an extensive reach to other parts of your organisation.

Bringing together various departments, and allowing these parties to utilise and benefit from the control and data being provided, becomes the keystone in bringing physical security to the forefront of worthy company investments.

Your access control system should have the ability to integrate, influence, and change the way people interact with your organisation. Through Integrations, a well-designed access control system can become an asset that allows for insights into how your business runs on a day to day level. From integrations with HR systems to building management systems, and knowing where, when, how and who authorised a person’s access, becomes a key feature into a complete facilities management solution.

“When it comes to all the different systems you use to mitigate security risks, they should not be used as standalone systems but to be integrated as one security platform.”

Marc Moris Director Corporate Prevention and Protection at Proximus

Unless your business is purely digital/online, you will inevitably deal with people in the physical realm. How they interact, are welcomed, and kept safe are a part of their experience with your brand. So why on earth are we shoving our access control needs into a deep dark basement never to be given attention to again? Isn’t it time to bring in an expert and get the most value out of your system?


Integrations is how you breathe life into access control systems

In its simplest form, access control is nothing more than ‘present a credential (Card, Biometric, Key fob, etc.) and a door opens. That’s it, and many platforms are designed for this simplicity. For smaller installations this works perfectly fine but when we look and the ever shifting landscape of medium to large enterprise organizations we quickly realise that there is a lot more potential to create value within the organization using access control events as a data point.

This is where the ability to integrate and the functionality of a best-of-breed integration become invaluable. Below are a few common integration examples:

  • Physical Identity and Access Management (PIAM)
  • Video Surveillance Systems
  • Time and Attendance Systems
  • Building Management Systems
  • Human Resource Management Systems
  • Fire Alarm Systems

As technology continues to advance, it’s important for organizations to take advantage of these integrations to stay ahead of the curve and ensure their facilities are secure, efficient, and well-protected.

In an uncertain and rapidly changing threat landscape, organizations can protect themselves with integrated security strategies.” Security Magazine

With the right integration, organizations can benefit from streamlined processes, enhanced data tracking, and improved incident management, leading to a safer and more secure work environment for employees and visitors alike. It’s why we, at Nedap Security Management, consider our Technology Partner Programme, the key to future-proof access control.
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