The covid-19 pandemic showed us that even the most stable of businesses can suddenly be rocked by unexpected events. Even to the point of having to close down permanently. Which is why business continuity should form part of every organisation’s strategic plans. But did you know that physical access control can, and should, play a key part in those strategic plans?
Powerful systems that support business continuity
Modern physical access control systems aren’t just about opening and closing doors. They’re powerful, IT-based systems that can help to protect your business and its continuity in a variety of ways.
They can help you to:
- Enforce processes and rules
- Prevent accidents
- Protect your valuable data
- Quickly put locations on lockdown
- Collate information to keep people safe
- Prevent incidents by enforcing your code of conduct.
Valuable data and complex authorisations
An access control system can also help you to be selective over which specific people are allowed entry, and which aren’t. First, it can give you the occupancy data you need to plan and make important decisions. And it also gives you the power to authorise who is allowed entry, when, where, for how long, and under what conditions.
To prevent over-occupation, you could, for example, allow entry to half of your teams on some days and the other half on other days. Or allow entry only to senior managers and cleaning teams.
Ensure you’re prepared to take action
The disasters that could strike your business go far beyond pandemics, of course. They could include environmental risks, production problems, accidents, terrorism and more. Which could all have devastating consequences on your turnover, profit and reputation, not to mention your employees’ wellbeing. So it’s crucial to be well-prepared for if the worst happens. Your access control system can help you make plans to support your business continuity – and put those plans into action.
Want to learn more? Download our whitepaper on access control for business continuity below.
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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.