Join or Sign in

Register for your free membership or if you are already a member,
sign in using your preferred method below.

To check your latest product inquiries, manage newsletter preference, update personal / company profile, or download member-exclusive reports, log in to your account now!
Login asmag.comMember Registration

5 key trends seen in access control management systems today

5 key trends seen in access control management systems today
Access control management systems are the brain behind access control solutions. This note discusses the latest trends that define access control management systems now and in the near future.
Access control management systems are the brain behind access control solutions. This note discusses the latest trends that define access control management systems now and in the near future.
Access control management systems or software are a critical component in an access control solution. Over the years they have become more open to allow integration with other devices. Migration to the cloud has also become quite noticeable. That said, the following are access control management trends that buyers may refer to when buying the solution they need.

Pandemic control and prevention

More and more, access control management systems have features that help prevent and control diseases. This has become more important than ever as businesses reopen and staff return to work, post-pandemic.
“Access control systems that grant occupancy management are an excellent addition to security as users can control and examine occupancy levels to ensure social distancing. Automatic individual tracking systems provide a means of counting and limiting entrance to certain areas. For example, operators can create a maximum occupancy level to limit overcrowding within a room or building. Contact traceability can produce reports that empower organizations to observe areas or zones where an individual has possibly contracted the virus,” said Jeff Bransfield, VP of Business Development at RS2 Technologies.
“The pandemic triggered a long-awaited inflection point of innovation in access control systems, paving the way for a wide range of new features, updates and software integrations. Some of the most popular examples of this include touchless access, like Openpath’s Wave to Unlock which allows users to leave their phone in their pocket and just wave their hand to unlock the door. With teams now increasingly mobile, remote and hybrid management capabilities afforded by web-based software also delivers flexibility to teams who have shifted their work hours and staffing," said James Segil, VP of Access Control at Motorola Solutions.
Mobile credentials, which provide a contactless means for entering buildings, are increasingly supported by access control management systems as well. “Mobile solutions can provide a health-screening questionnaire to help reduce the risk of potentially infected employees from entering a building. Upon successful completion of the questionnaire, an employee’s physical access card or mobile credential will be enabled for a specified period of time, for example, one day,” said Gaoping Xiao, Director of Sales for Asia Pacific at AMAG Technology.

Migration to cloud

While most end users still put their access control management systems on-premises, cloud deployment has become increasingly popular. “The idea of having a server hosted off premises in a cloud environment is another growing trend. Improved redundancy and reliability features are an inherent benefit of cloud technology and one that is growing in importance in the access control market,” said Rick Focke, Director of Product Management for Enterprise Access Control at Johnson Controls.
Whether to choose on-premises or cloud, then, depends on the user’s own requirements. “We see that data centers and industries that must meet strict compliance requirements prefer on-prem access control systems. On the other hand, some small to mid-size enterprise customers have started to look for hosted solutions as there will be less ongoing maintenance of the servers and clients for those smaller scope applications,” Xiao said.


Access control management systems have long been proprietary. Yet more and more they are open to allow integration with access control devices or security systems of different brands. “There is more use of open RESTful API protocols for ease of integration for access control to other systems, and the recent PSIA development of the PLAI Agent looks interesting, bringing ease of integration between access systems of different manufactures,” said John Davies, MD of TDSi.
“Over the last few years, there has been a significant focus on integration in access control. Newer solutions now enable organizations to streamline their security by integrating with third-party systems such as video surveillance, building management, and visitor management,” Bransfield said. “The essential thing to remember about this wide-scale trend is the scalability, flexibility, and open API architecture that a strong access control solution can provide. Organizations that choose the correct access control and intrusion detection systems can effortlessly integrate them into their video management platforms, producing a balanced, powerful, and effective security infrastructure.”

Leveraging data

Access control management systems are generating more data than ever to help the user achieve further security, efficiency and business intelligence.
“For example, if you have a certain number of people coming into your building, you can tell the cafeteria how much food to order or the HVAC system to increase or decrease the fresh air volume. We have one customer analyzing the number of access control transactions per desk to compare usage among different tenants. For example, if the data shows a company is not using all its space, then a business could move to a smaller location and reduce operating expenses. We also see correlation with other data — false alarms or escalated alarms that can be extracted from the data. If a door was forced open during the day, it’s probably not as important as if there’s a door forced alarm at 2 a.m. with no one around. Providing richer context around the initial data makes the alarm system more efficient,” Focke said.

"For landlords, understanding how your tenants use your space yields data and insights such as schedules/routines, high-traffic zones, utility use, foot-traffic flow, elevator dispatching and parking utilization. Using these insights helps property managers and landlords to deploy energy-efficient measures that impact your bottom line, such as automating HVAC and lighting during the times of day or month where less tenants are using the facilities. Another example is understanding space utilization, which can help you identify areas of a floor or building that are being under-leveraged and can therefore serve other purposes or be sub-leased to tenants whose footprint has grown," Segil said.
“Access systems are ideally placed to improve the efficiency of the use of the built environment. The systems control the flow of people into all areas of a building and this data can be used to ensure that the lighting and heating are maximized for minimal environmental impact. The data can also be used to ensure that the right amount of space is being contracted by an organization to ensure that there aren’t empty floors or departments as we return to a more Hybrid work environment post pandemic,” Davies said.


Given rampant cybersecurity issues, access control manufacturers are placing more security mechanisms into their management systems. These can include encryption and multifactor authentication – for both physical and logical access.
“Most access control systems usually depend upon the person or asset transitioning in or out of an area to be identified and verified, typically done through credentials. Credentials may be something physical that the person has, such as a card, key, tag, mobile phone, password, PIN, or intrinsic data such as biometrics that recognize fingerprints or eyes. In today's access control systems, a level of cybersecurity is brought to the forefront of these solutions, and more than one layer of credentials is usually required. This often creates more protection in collecting, accessing, and storing data,” Bransfield said.

Product Adopted:
Subscribe to Newsletter
Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in physical security

Share to: