Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
July 2, 2021

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The Video Surveillance Report 2022

Cloud-based security

Cloud-based access control: Which organisations stand to benefit the most and why?

Alex Holmström, Sales Director, ACRE International, offers a viewpoint on the benefits of cloud-based access control for organisations, particularly small- to medium-sized businesses.

The cloud has dramatically reshaped our day-to-day lives and is continuing to be accepted as a highly convenient means for storing and accessing data and offering valuable services and applications. In the past year especially, cloud services have become more established across almost all industry sectors, including security; driven by changing customer demands, many businesses are now reinventing their solutions to harness the power, flexibility, and functionality cloud offers.

Cloud-AccessControl-21

The acquisition of the cloud in security

The adoption of cloud-based security solutions by organisations continues to increase as companies, employees, and devices become more connected. The transition from on-premise security to the cloud has proven to be very successful for many organisations, and according to a recent study, 52% said they found better security in the cloud than in on-premise IT environments.

More and more businesses are beginning to realise that leveraging the cloud is the most efficient way to solve emerging challenges, including those related to security and safety. In the past, cloud-based solutions mainly catered to video surveillance and were primarily directed towards the residential market. Thankfully, the use cases and the demand has shifted as more cutting-edge solutions are introduced. In the access control space, cloud-based solutions provide significant benefits. These platforms allow business owners or security managers to access the infrastructure at any time, from any internet-enabled device.

The promises of cloud adoption

With its popularity continually increasing, it’s typical for stakeholders to inquire about how this technology works and what it means for their business. Within the scope of physical security for an organisation, the cloud allows them to implement a robust access control solution without investing heavily in IT infrastructure. Instead, the security application is hosted in an off-premise data center, with management and control shifted to the integrator’s or service provider’s responsibility.


READ: Continued investment in cloud security providers underlines growth in the sector


Small- to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stand to gain the most from the use of cloud-based access control as they typically do not possess the resources necessary to house a comprehensive security solution (such as a robust IT department that can oversee an on-premise solution). Even so, we see the use of the cloud throughout the entire industry because the overall benefits are significant, and users cite reduction of costs, more time savings, increased flexibility, remote monitoring, automatic updates, and increased situational awareness across a facility (or many locations).

Which organisations benefit most from cloud-based access control?

As mentioned above, small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stand to gain the most use of cloud-based services because they typically do not have the necessary resources to house comprehensive security solutions themselves. In addition, because the rise of the cloud is increasing throughout the entire industry, cloud-based access control, video management, and intrusion detection services are becoming increasingly popular due to the significant amount of advantages they hold over traditional solutions.

Furthermore, the managed services through cloud-based solutions allow SMBs to focus more on business operations and less on security management and maintaining critical infrastructure. For example, Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) is typically a billed service that occurs monthly or annually.

ACaaS provides SMBs with numerous benefits and ensures that the end-users will always have access to the latest software features without worrying about ever needing to upgrade the software themselves again. This service also provides the integrator with an access control system that is simpler and less time-consuming to install.

ACRE-Cloud-basedaccesscontrol-21Benefits of cloud-based access control

Cloud-based solutions offer numerous benefits as a component of an integrated security system. Compared to on-prem solutions, utilising could-based access control software provides greater flexibility because of the web-based management platform and open API architecture. In addition, cloud-based systems serve as an optimal solution to save space for organisations that cannot dedicate square footage to an internal server room.

Finally, cloud-based systems are typically more straightforward and less extensive to maintain because the vendor’s back-end management hosts the server. Although ACaaS tends to favor SMBs slightly more, there are still benefits that support both SMBs and enterprises.

  1. Remote management: One advantage of cloud-based systems is the ability to work the system remotely. Because all locations are configured and monitored from cloud-accessed dashboards that are available 24/7 from anywhere in the world, admins can open doors for people without having to be onsite.
  2. Enterprise adaptability: When it comes to successfully scaling business operations, the cloud is an excellent tool. The web-based management system allows admins to easily add new people, locations, and doors to the network in just a few minutes. Not only does cloud access control allow for multi-site enterprises to centralise their IT and security management, but it also has the added benefit of reducing IT burdens and costs.
  3. Increased ROI: Achieve more with less investment. By having less hardware, these cloud solutions are more cost-effective for both SMBs and large multi-location enterprises. In addition, because most cloud-based access control solutions run on an open platform system, this enables easy integration for third-party systems and platforms. Ultimately, these integrations allow for automated processes across the entire business or enterprise and assists organisations with evolving needs by providing more flexibility.
  4. Enduring technology: Lastly, the cloud is the key to “future-proofing” a security system. Because the cloud can scale and update as the business grows, the technology will never become outdated. A major problem facing companies is the struggle with antiquated systems and the constant training of internal IT staff to update the system constantly. The beauty of a cloud-managed service provider is that the system will automatically install upgrades; therefore, networks and applications never fall behind or become obsolete.

In closing, cloud-based security solutions are continuing to gain traction as more organisations recognize the power, flexibility, and functionality that the cloud provides. Because of the endless benefits that cloud-based access control gives SMBs and enterprises, we will continue to see this choice of adoption increase over the next few years.

Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The developing ‘move to mobile access control’ trend
  • Views on open architecture and integration
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How important is sustainability to the industry?

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