Choosing an access control system can be daunting; it’s a big investment and it has several important jobs to do. In this piece, we look at the steps to take to ensure you select the right system for you. Having created AEOS – the first software-based access control system that’s now trusted around the world – we’ve helped clients through this process many times.

We believe one of the crucial things to remember is that access control isn’t just about controlling access. It can play a strategic role in helping you boost not just security but productivity, creativity and performance, and even happiness and fulfilment. Because, for us, what access control really does by protecting people, places and possessions is bring freedom to everyday life.

First, analyse the risks

The first step to take is to map out what you need to protect and what are the threats. An access control system can protect not only your assets and people, but your business processes too. Do you need to prevent logistics being disrupted, for example, to avoid turnover taking a dive? Do you have to protect sensitive information as well as equipment?

What’s the vision?

Next, look into the long-term. A good access control system lasts at least 10 years and lots can change in that time. So it’s important to choose a system that can adapt to your potential future needs and enable you to get the most from your investment. Think about, for example, how rules and regulations may change, how your business may grow and what new technologies you may want to adopt.

Look at the opportunities

To maximise your investment, look into all the benefits a system can offer beyond simply controlling access. A good access control system can, for example, help you to:

  • Use your buildings more efficiently.
  • Optimise your business processes.
  • Welcome visitors more warmly.
  • Give employees more convenience.

Create a plan of requirements

The next step is to set out your wants and needs clearly in a plan of requirements for your access control system. Make it as specific as possible and include details such as:

  • What you like and don’t like about your existing system and why you want to replace it.
  • What you expect from your new system and any problems you want to avoid.
  • How you want your new system to improve performance, efficiency, flexibility and scalability.
  • The physical measures you need to protect what’s important to your organisation.

Find the right supplier

Once you have a concrete plan of requirements, you’re ready to share it with manufacturers, installers and integrators. Each can offer something different so think about what you want to get out of your partnership with them. Do you need advice on technology trends or ideas for your system? Do you want support to ensure your system is properly implemented and maintained?

Think about the complexity of system design and installation and who’s best placed to manage it. We offer a Global Client Programme, for example, that helps multinationals to streamline their access control faster and more easily.

Decide how to measure success

Once you’ve selected your supplier, it’s really important to decide together how you’ll measure the success of your system. This will enable you to continue refining and optimising it over the years.

Put people first

All of the above are crucial steps when selecting an access control system. But, most importantly, the aspect to bring to the forefront at every stage is the people using your system.

We always take a people-first approach when developing access control products and functionality because we believe security isn’t just about technology. It’s about people and how they live their daily lives. We want our access control to free your mind from security and help you live life to its full potential – we call this ‘Security for life’.

Protect the protector

One final element not to overlook is what’s protecting your access control system itself? What’s to stop someone hacking into it to override the protection it offers? AEOS end-to-end security ensures your physical access control system is protected from cyber attacks and meets the highest security requirements globally.

It does this by applying the IT security principles of encryption and strong authentication. So DESFire keys are stored safely out of reach in Secure Access Modules (SAMs), and so are digital certificates. This means communication between door controllers and server is secure, which prevents hackers opening doors remotely using unauthorised IP devices.

Do you need help selecting the right access control for you? We’re always happy to talk things through. Contact us at and we’ll put you in touch with the best person for your needs.

Do you want more information?

Download the whitepaper

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