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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Access Control System

By Northland Controls, Jun 01, 2021

The right access control system is a critical component of any security ecosystem.

However, with so many options and an overwhelming number of comparison points to process, it can be hard to know where to get started. Whether you are replacing a current system or just starting out, here are the top five things to look for when comparing access control systems.

System Hardware and Capabilities
The function and capabilities of your access control system are important pieces of the puzzle when deliberating the best option for your security needs. Ensuring it can accommodate the size and breadth of your organization, including the number of readers and credentials it can support both now and in the future, should be one of the first things you identify. Implementing a new system should not only focus on your current situation but future growth as well.

When considering your options, keep in mind what your security goals are and how they can be achieved through the right access control platform. One of the major factors in finding the right fit for your organization is to evaluate the different features each platform can provide. It is important to compare these features against your security goals to ensure the access control system can help you achieve them and enhance, not hinder, the overall company culture.

According to IFSEC Global, 92% of security and building management professionals consider open architecture, or the interoperability of their access control system, to be somewhat or very important. The ability to integrate various business applications with your access control platform can provide solutions to challenges including the need to keep multiple systems up to date and remaining compliant with industry policies. Features supporting visitor management, building operations, alarm systems, and CCTV/video surveillance are some of the top requested integrations.

Remote Capabilities
Remote work has become the “new normal” for many people since COVID-19 shut down offices last March. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 55% of employees prefer working remotely at least three days a week while 68% of executives agree that employees should be in the office at least three days a week. Depending on what your company’s “new normal” will look like, there is a good chance remote access will be important.

Safety Features
At its core, access controls are meant to provide an added level of safety for your employees and buildings. However, to fully do that, the system itself needs to be secure. Fully understand the type of security features built into each platform before making a final decision.

To further unpack each of these considerations and see how some of the most popular access control systems compare to each other, check out our Comparative Guide to Access Controls.