The pace at which technology is changing means new products are constantly entering the market. It’s up to campus security and IT directors to stay ahead of the evolving technological landscape. The campus community depends on you to choose the best solutions that will not only meet today’s safety needs but tomorrow’s as well.
Wireless access control is not new, but the breadth of options has expanded. And those who’ve adopted the technology — both end-users and integrators — have experienced its benefits.
Wireless electronic access control enhances the user experience. And as more adopt wireless, campuses reap the benefits of more connected openings.
It’s essential to first understand the value wireless electronic access control offers. Wireless solutions do much more to offer value beyond security.
Of course, upgrading a mechanical door to electronic access control enhances security. It provides greater control over the opening by offering end-users access to audit trails, reports and alerts.
Using electronic credentials allows users to manage access rights immediately, which is more secure than using mechanical keys. That said, there’s additional value in the flexibility, convenience and operational efficiency of wireless solutions.
Here are the main benefits of using wireless access control solutions.
1. Flexible Control
The economy is good and businesses are growing. Some businesses are moving into new buildings, while others are revisiting how to best utilize their existing space. As the sharing economy becomes mainstream, a growing number of facilities are rethinking how and when their space is used.
Security systems play a major role in facilitating all of these efforts. If the existing security system is not able to be reconfigured easily and effectively, a facility may not be able to adapt without costly modifications to their security solutions.
Wireless solutions allow for greater flexibility in how space is used. Because they are less invasive, they can be easily introduced on new openings compared to hardwired options.
Versatility also enables end-users to upgrade their systems over time. Many choose to introduce wireless at a small scale, then upgrade more doors down the road. Transitioning from mechanical to electronic with a trial program is a great way to test the benefits of electronic access control with low risk and minimal investment.
2. Operational Efficiencies
Wireless gives end-users a means of expanding the adoption of electronic access control within a facility as an economical option in comparison to traditional wired solutions. More connected devices present the ability to automate administrative and service processes, allowing more to get done in less time.
One of the most common areas of productivity is related to key management. Time and costs associated with mechanical key turnover are greatly reduced, improving operational efficiency. With mechanical locks, the creation of keys can be time-consuming and once a key is lost, there’s no control over who can gain access. To overcome security threats, re-keying must take place. But with electronic credentials, rights can be deactivated immediately and new credentials issued in seconds.
3. Convenient Security
Electronic access control is similar to automotive evolution. For those with key-less ignition systems in their cars, the concept of needing to locate a key and present it mechanically in the vehicle to start the engine seems outdated.
It may seem minimal to someone who has not yet experienced any different behavior, but once a person has this experience, few prefer to accept anything less going forward. It’s the same as someone handing out a mechanical key.
It already feels outdated in many buildings because we have come to expect the convenience of the electronic key. When electronic access control is implemented throughout a facility, a single credential can provide a frictionless experience while users move from one space to the next with ease.
This experience is attractive to stakeholders and others who have come to expect convenience where they live, learn and work. Wireless solutions help make this possible. This is increasingly relevant for Millennials.
Many have grown up with technology and used electronic credentials to access their neighborhood recreation centers, college residence halls and academic buildings. As they make choices on where to live and work, why would they want to receive a mechanical key for access when it’s much more convenient to use an electronic card or phone?
Assisted living facilities have also benefitted from adopting wireless solutions throughout the property, including resident doors. Access control is more convenient for their elderly residents. It’s easier to track as well as ergonomically use as it eliminates the need for them to twist the key, which can be hard or painful for some residents.
While electronic access control can do more than grant access to space, it’s still expected to do its primary purpose — provide security. If that isn’t there, the additional benefits won’t matter. So it’s important to be aware of these types of solutions that enable your campus to deliver convenience and efficiency without compromising security.
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