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INSIGHTS

Revisiting ACaaS: Hot and popular as ever

Revisiting ACaaS: Hot and popular as ever
This article looks at access control as a service and how it benefits users and SIs alike.
Needless to say, access control is an important part of security. More and more, access control has moved to the cloud, which has various advantages. This article looks at cloud-based access control, or access control as a service (AcaaS), and how it benefits users and SIs alike.
 
AcaaS has gained much traction in security. Essentially, it takes access control away from an on-premises architecture and moves it to the cloud. This offers various advantages that attract users.
 
“Traditional on-premise solutions can be expensive to maintain, difficult to keep up-to-date, and time-consuming to manage. The transition to a cloud-based access control product ultimately bolsters an organization's infrastructure, saves money, and allows for greater security,” said Jeff Ross, Director of Marketing at ACRE Americas.
 
He added: “Access control as a service (ACaaS) joins the benefits of software as a service (SaaS) with physical access control devices, such as controllers and readers, that remain onsite. The cloud-based solution is accessed remotely with mobile or web browsers, and data is secured safely in the cloud. With a truly native cloud solution, no physical appliances or IoT devices are needed to sit onsite in order to communicate with the cloud backend.”
 

Primary benefits

 
Benefits of AcaaS are manifold and are summarized as follows.
 

Remote management

 
A major benefit of ACaaS is allowing access control to be remotely managed. “Cloud-based systems offer the benefit of remote control, monitoring, and identity management. Administrators can access the system 24/7 from anywhere there is an internet connection. No one must be onsite to open doors, grant access, respond to alarm activity, or manage credentials,” Ross said.
 

Reduced cost

 
According to Ross, cloud access control allows organizations and end users to save expenses on costly hardware upgrades, IT involvement, and administration and management. “Just as important,” he said, “it frees security and IT personnel to focus on what they do best. By moving their infrastructure to an ACaaS model, organizations can focus their time and resources where they belong: on developing innovative applications and solutions that grow their business, rather than spending time, money, and resources managing the backend technology required for effective access control deployments.”
 

Cybersecurity

 
Cybersecurity is another benefit. Ross said that maintaining a cloud-based security solution decreases the possibilities of potential information breaches, and properly architected cloud solutions will not only build in their inherent security protocols but will also leverage the cyber hardening capabilities provided by large hosting providers such as AWS or Azure.
 

Scalability

 
Further, ACaaS allows users to scale their access control up or down with ease. “The cloud is an excellent tool in helping organizations scale their security infrastructure. Expanding or contracting system capabilities can be done online, in real-time, without the red tape that comes from a traditional PO process,” Ross said.
 

Recurring monthly revenue

 
Last but not least, AcaS helps generate a RMR model that provides a steady source of revenue for integrators.
 
“After having limited RMR opportunities over the years, the cloud provides access control dealers the option to evolve their business strategy. Hosted, managed, and monitored service options are a way to provide ongoing services for customers. Similar to the end-user benefits mentioned above, cloud-based solutions also allow integrator personnel to focus on more specific, highly profitable managed services that add value to their customers rather than dealing with upgrades, backups, and redundancy issues,” Ross said.
 

Who can benefit

 
ACaaS can benefit a variety of user types. These range from small and medium businesses to large enterprises with sites across the globe.
 
“The myth that ACaaS does not have the feature set or integration capabilities to support an enterprise-scale deployment is simply not true. Properly architected cloud systems that have been diligent in ongoing R&D are more than capable of handling a 25,000+ reader deployment across multiple continents. Cloud greatly benefits organizations with multiple sites or a restricted IT team, such as educational facilities, restaurants, retail shops and construction sites,” Ross said.
 
“Outside of those organizations where prevalent internet access is either not readily available or allowed (due to internal policy or regulatory compliance), cloud-based solutions will offer a viable, cost-effective, reliable, and more flexible deployment option,” he added. “Even long-standing cloud antagonists like the US Federal government are evaluating the benefits of cloud-based solutions.”
 

‘Future of access control’

 
ACaaS remains popular and in demand, and future growth is all but expected. According to Research and Markets, the global market for ACaaS estimated at US$1.2 billion in 2022 is projected to reach a size of $2.9 billion by 2026, a CAGR of 24.2 percent.

Ross agrees with ACaaS’s growth potential, citing its growing deployment in different segments, especially in the cost-COVID era.
 
“Access control as a service is the future of access control. We are getting close to where cloud-based solutions are deployed faster than on-premise solutions. The recent pandemic has helped accelerate the adoption of ACaaS by showing how powerful, reliable, and flexible these solutions are. Demand for ACaaS within small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is increasing substantially due to generally lower capital investment and in enterprise-sized organizations as well,” he said. “ACaaS permits a better-streamlined security infrastructure without the added expenditures of an in-house IT team to preserve the system. Integrators are actively accommodating this demand by adopting cloud-based access control solutions to diversify their product listings and obtain recurring monthly revenue."


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