Last week I discussed some of the popular questions and answers on networked access control from my perspective as an analyst at ARC Advisory Group. With open and scalable architecture being a key area of interest right now for IP-enabled systems, I will continue this discussion with a related question:
Do you think the availability of open development platforms will accelerate innovation in the networked access control space? Can you think of some examples where we might see these innovations first?
As I stated last week, end users want the freedom to choose from a large range of products offered by various suppliers. As the market embraces open standards and scalable architecture, users are gaining more flexibility. Open standards allow users to select products from several vendors instead of being locked into one supplier. They also allow users to implement customized security solutions that are tailored to their specific needs, and users often rely on suppliers to help conceptualize and design the customized solution. Since users are no longer tethered to any one supplier - and there is more focus placed on providing customized solutions - suppliers have more incentive to be innovative, because it is the only way they will remain competitive in the long term.
While most companies and institutions have security, access control, and video surveillance systems installed in their buildings, and others even have incident response systems, perimeter detection systems, and alarm monitoring systems; they are generally a collection of isolated or "siloed" systems that cannot easily share information, if at all. Natural synergies exist between these systems and integrating them effectively creates one new system in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Open system design facilitates this integration, as it provides these once disparate systems with the ability to communicate with one another.
Light commercial buildings, such as small- and medium-sized retail stores, health clinics and doctors' parks, churches, K-12 schools, and small office buildings represent a significant portion of existing and new buildings in most markets, yet do not typically employ advanced security or access control systems. This is gradually changing as intelligent controllers with enhanced control functionality and advanced software capabilities - such as HID Global's latest EDGE EVO and VertX EVO platform - becomes scalable, less expensive, and easier to operate.
A modular design allows users to implement streamlined system architecture, selecting only the features they deem necessary. This helps lower the total cost of the investment. By lowering the entry price for a modern security system, more of the small- and medium-sized customers that do not have as critical a need for a fully featured security system will implement intelligent security systems. In the past, this would have locked the customer into a particular system size and level of performance. With today's advanced controllers, thin-client software, and IP connectivity, it is possible to develop a migration path for customers and leave the option open for incremental improvements over time.
Analyst, ARC Advisory Group
ARC Advisory Group has become the leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure. Its coverage of technology and trends extends from business systems to product and asset lifecycle management, supply chain management, operations management, energy optimization and automation systems.