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Why end users should embrace the cloud

Why end users should embrace the cloud

In a changing technology landscape, it is more important than ever for end users to have streamlined flexibility as their needs change.

Over the past few years, the availability of cloud-based security solutions has exploded – and for good reason. The benefits the cloud provides to end users are numerous, ranging from cheaper installations to increased scalability potential, making it the number one contender when it comes to an access control solution that will benefit users both now and in the future. 


Considering making the switch to the cloud but not quite convinced yet? There are a few key areas that benefit end users significantly, ensuring technology investments stay secure and remain on the cutting edge.

Cost savings

The main advantage to selecting the cloud when considering the future of a business is financial. The cloud eliminates the necessity for a fully local system, which means there is no need to invest in an access control server – one of the more expensive parts of implementing an access control solution. Capital expenditures become a thing of the past, making system maintenance more cost-effective overall by eliminating the concern of technical issues.

In addition, cloud solutions are typically part of a subscription-based model, allowing users to pay a set monthly price for the services they receive. This ensures users are only paying for what they need at present, with the ability to change the services they subscribe to as their business grows. If a business only requires support for four doors when they launch, but experiences growth and later needs support for 10 doors, this can be done easily within the cloud and in a cost-efficient way. 

On the contrary, if a user’s business is experiencing slower growth than anticipated, they can opt to scale back on the services they receive. For the first time, the cloud provides the means by which users can scale up or down seamlessly, creating cost-saving measures and the flexibility necessary to accommodate to an ever-evolving technological world.

Scalability

The cloud makes it easy to add or subtract services as business needs change. While this is a cost-saving benefit, it also ensures businesses have the flexibility they need to make business decisions without worrying about costly repercussions. Rather than making an upfront access control investment that supports hundreds of doors that may not be necessary in the early stages of a business launch, the cloud enables users to start small and easily add new doors or feature sets as the business grows.

Since there is no need to create an entirely new network, installations are also streamlined, saving users both time and money compared to traditional access control solutions that require extensive wiring and network configuration. This further reduces installation costs while simultaneously allowing users to add more services without having to pay to rewire the entire network.

Overall, business trajectory fluctuates. Whether a business is a start-up or a well-established Fortune 500 company, there are benefits to the scalability potential that the cloud provides. It is reassuring for users to know that their first technology investment does not have to be their last and that it allows them to focus on other areas of business operations, rather than worrying about the traditional costs associated with upgrading an on-premise access control solution.

Security

According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, 70 percent of organizations are not prepared for a cyberattack. This tells us two things: First, businesses do not have the resources to dedicate a full team to cybersecurity, and second, businesses are, understandably, putting operations ahead of cybersecurity best practices. 

If your business falls into the 70 percent, the good news is that cloud-based solutions are typically part of a subscription-based model that includes 24/7 monitoring by the cloud provider. This guarantees a user’s system is under the watchful eye of an off-premise professional, with the resources to respond to threats in real time. In this way, vulnerabilities are often detected and dealt with before the company even realizes they were at risk. If the same hacker attacked a local solution at a company without the resources for a dedicated IT team, it is unlikely that the risk would be identified and eliminated as quickly.  

Cloud providers employ best-in-class IT professionals so that you don’t have to. No capital expenditures and a dedicated team monitoring the system positions the cloud as an ideal option for both new and established businesses. With 24/7 oversight, the cloud is arguably more secure than traditional, on-premise systems.

Misconceptions

With increased scalability, lower cost-of-ownership and heightened security, the cloud is an ideal option for businesses of all sizes. Still, due to misinformation and the novelty of the service, some users are choosing more costly on-premise solutions. Most of this relates to the concern that cloud solutions are not secure – which is simply not the case. On-premise access control systems have a higher likelihood of getting hacked, or going offline, because they have more system components and in turn, a larger Internet of Things (IoT) footprint. The more devices that connect to the internet, the higher the chance of an attack.

In addition, because of 24/7 monitoring, cloud systems have maximum uptime. Thanks to this constant oversight, any perceived vulnerability is immediately responded to, ensuring the system stays operational and, more importantly, secure. While downtime is a security threat, it also has the potential to cost companies millions of dollars if sensitive data is accessed.

Another common misconception is that the cloud is proprietary, in turn locking users into a single manufacturer agreement. While this may be true in some cases, there are many companies that embrace open source solutions, providing an additional layer of flexibility and choice to end users. With no vendor lock-in taking place, users can ensure they are choosing equipment to stay at a price point they are comfortable with, while also remaining on the cutting edge of new technologies. This is necessary as users grow their businesses and need additional physical equipment. An open source access control system can also easily integrate with video management systems (VMS), human resources and HVAC to provide a full operational view of a facility. 

The cloud is simply an easy option for end users and takes the guesswork out of making technology investments. With no software to install, paired with automatic updates and the option to embrace open source offerings, the cloud ensures delivery of the most up-to-date, secure version of the system possible. No wires, no capital expenditures and a dedicated team monitoring the system positions the cloud as an ideal option as far as affordability and scalability. It is not practical to update systems completely as new technology is developed, but the cloud and open source systems provide a way to do exactly this in a cost-effective manner. Combining the cloud, open source capabilities and remote monitoring ensures access control systems are on track to stay competitive in a changing technological landscape.


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