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10 Key Questions to Choose the Right Access Solutions for Your Project

December 1, 2023

Growing urbanization and the advent of digital transformation have fundamentally changed how we interact with our surroundings. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, ensuring the security and efficiency of business has become paramount. Whether it is data security or keeping physical infrastructure secure, it is critical to keep business premises safe.

Nevertheless, traditional lock-and-key mechanisms are no longer sufficient in today’s world, where unauthorized access can lead to theft, vandalism, or even threats to personal safety. Hence, access solutions have emerged as a vital component in meeting a building’s compliance and security needs.

These systems enhance safety, protect valuable assets, and streamline building operations by limiting entry to authorized individuals. Currently valued at US$ 9.9 billion, the access control market is expected to grow to US$ 14.9 billion by 2028. 

Safe Spaces - The New Normal

As businesses, organizations, and public spaces adapt to the new normal of the post-Covid world, access solutions have undergone significant transformations to address the challenges of remodeled workplaces. For example, contactless technologies such as mobile access credentials, facial recognition, and gesture-based entry have gained popularity.

  • Yet, old or aging access solutions cannot keep pace with the rapidly evolving business landscape and patch existing or new security gaps. Much of it depends on architects and planners as they need to carefully consider how people will enter, move through, and exit buildings. They need to rethink building management by adopting modern and tech-driven access solutions that contribute to improved operational efficiency within buildings.
  • Choosing the right access solutions ensures a seamless flow of people while prioritizing safety, functionality, and aesthetics. With a wide array of access solutions available in the market, choosing the right solution can be daunting. Not to forget that each access system has diverse access levels and is built differently to meet different property and security needs.

To simplify the decision-making process, architects should consider these ten critical questions when selecting access solutions for their projects. These questions will guide the selection process and mark some critical factors that make a difference, ensuring the chosen access solution aligns with the project’s goals and requirements.

What is the Size and Layout of the Building?  

Is it an office building or a small office? Or is it a multi-story building with permanent tenants? The space’s size and purpose are essential when choosing an access solution.

Therefore, understanding users’ needs, traffic flow, and space utilization is essential.

Q 1: What is the level of security required for a building?  

A 1: Once planners understand the needs of users and the building, they need to lay down security policies that specify restrictions on access and their locations.

  • Different organizations face varying levels of security risks based on industry type, location, or nature of operations. It is important to assess the level of security required to mitigate these risks effectively.
  • Considering the value of assets, the existence of sensitive data or critical infrastructure, and the level of public access help define the required security level.
  • By categorizing areas within a building based on their security requirements, appropriate security measures can be implemented to identify vulnerabilities and prioritize resources to address the areas with higher security risks.

Organizations should assess their specific security needs, consult with the access solution provider if necessary, and select an access solution that provides the appropriate level of security that meets their unique requirements.

Q 2: What type of access solutions are required?

A 2: Alongside, planners need to choose from different types of access controls like keycards, QR codes, biometrics, facial recognition systems, IRIS scanning, etc. The planner and business owner should choose the one that aligns with the safety and security requirements of the project.

Q 3: How many people will be using access solutions, and what are their access requirements?

A 3: This is a very critical question to ask as the number of people using the access solution determines the scalability requirements.

  • A building may have varying numbers of employees, visitors, workers, or other individuals who require access to different areas within the building. The access solution should have the capacity to handle the expected number of users as well as ensure it meets the access requirements of specific users.
  • For example, employees may have different access privileges compared to visitors or contractors for a shopping mall.
  • Further, accessibility requirements should be considered for visitors or individuals with disabilities. The access system should support features to ensure easy access for all individuals.

Q 4: What to choose between Traditional or Cloud-Based systems?

A 4: Indeed, currently, many buildings operate on traditional access solutions wherein the system runs on an on-premise computer, like key cards or PIN-based solutions.

  • They are not only inefficient but also have limitations in terms of the number of users, access points, and locations they can support.
  • Additionally, traditional access control systems typically involve higher upfront costs due to the need for infrastructure setup and equipment purchases.

In contrast, cloud-based access solutions eliminate the need for on-premises infrastructure, as everything is hosted in the cloud and managed by the service provider.

  • This reduces the burden of infrastructure maintenance and frees up resources for other business priorities.
  • Cloud-based access solutions foster robust security protocols, encryption, and data backup measures.
  • They can easily accommodate growing organizations, allowing seamless expansion without significant infrastructure changes.

With the increasing need for agile workplaces, a cloud-based access solution should be an ideal choice.

Q 5: What are the advanced features to look for?

A 5: In today’s fast-paced modern world, looking for advanced features beyond basic access control functionalities is essential. What buildings need today is a flexible and adaptable access solution that meets the rapidly evolving business needs.

  • Architects should look for advanced features like smartphone access, automated light, temperature setting, etc.
  • Nowadays, many projects demand video management integration. This integration allows for synchronized monitoring of access points and associated video footage. In case of suspicious activities or security breaches, video surveillance footage provides helpful evidence for investigation and identification. Access control and video surveillance enhance overall situational awareness and facilitate a comprehensive security approach.

By embracing such advanced features, organizations can establish a secure and efficient access environment and enhance overall safety and productivity.

Q 6: Are there any specific building codes or regulations that must be followed?

A 6: Certain industries or organizations are subject to regulatory requirements that mandate specific security measures.

  • For instance, according to US Standards, healthcare facilities must comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations, which include safeguarding patient privacy and maintaining a secure environment, while financial institutions must adhere to data protection standards such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
  • Access solutions with visitor management can meet these regulatory standards by recording visitor details, tracking visitor movements, and providing audit trails when required.
  • Compliance with these standards may demand access control measures to ensure the protection of sensitive data and privacy, reducing legal and financial risks.

Q 7: How much would an access solution cost?  

A 7: Understanding and considering the budgetary constraints of the project is crucial to selecting an access solution that meets the requirements while staying within the allocated budget.

  • The cost of an access solution can vary widely depending on the size of the facility, the number of access points, the desired features and capabilities, the level of integration required, the deployment model (on-premises or cloud-based), and other cutting-edge features.
  • It is equally important to assess the value and benefits the access solution can provide in the cost quoted such as enhanced security, improved operational efficiency and reduced risks.
  • Nevertheless, choose an access solutions provider that aligns with the required access control needs and long-term objectives, and ensures the project is ready within desired the timeframe and budget.

However, do not let the cost be the ultimate deciding factor when purchasing an access solution, as the priority should be the highest level of security. Nevertheless, opt for access solutions that strike a balance between affordability and functionality.

Q 8: Is integration with other building systems essential?

A 8: Seamless integration with other systems is very important for the proper functioning of the entire building.

  • When choosing access solutions, make sure to buy one that works in conjunction with other security systems, such as video surveillance, intrusion detection, or visitor management.
  • For example, access control systems can be integrated with building automation systems to automate tasks such as turning on lights or adjusting temperature settings based on user flow.
  • An adaptable access solution can integrate with these systems, enabling data sharing, coordinated workflows, and centralized management. Integration enhances the overall security posture and operational efficiency of the organization.

Q 9: What is the level of customization and timeline for the project required?

A 9: Each organization has unique access requirements based on its industry, size, and operational needs.

  • Customization allows organizations to tailor the access solution to meet their specific requirements. This may include defining access levels, permissions, user roles, and access policies that align with security protocols and workflows.
  • It also plays a crucial role in understanding the access solution's scalability and adaptability to future needs. Organizations that anticipate growth or changes in their access requirements should choose a solution that can be customized or easily modified to accommodate evolving needs.
  • Likewise, considering the timeline for the project ensures that access solutions can be implemented within the desired timeframe and meets the organization's project schedule. If the project has a tight timeline and requires rapid deployment, it may be necessary to prioritize access solutions that can be implemented efficiently without compromising the quality and functionality of the system.

dormakaba proposes access solutions that can meet project timeframes as well as the required security standards. Understanding the specific needs and preferences of the project, dormakaba offers custom access solutions that meet desired deployment schedule and facilitates a smooth transition to the deployed access control system.

Q 10: How Easy is an access solution to maintain or repair?

A 10: This is an important question and should not be ignored, as the in-house IT team shouldn’t spend countless hours repairing the access system.

  • Proper maintenance ensures the system’s reliable performance over time, while repairability ensures that solution providers can address any issues or malfunctions promptly. So, look for an access solutions provider that offers regular maintenance, proactive monitoring, and faster repairability.
  • Through proactive monitoring, administrators can identify early warning signs of system degradation, such as hardware failures, network connectivity issues, or abnormal access patterns. This allows for timely intervention and reduces the risk of system downtime or security breaches.
  • It is also crucial to consider the vendor’s support and the availability of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). A reputable vendor should provide timely and reliable support, including troubleshooting assistance, software patches, and hardware replacements if needed.

All these factors ensure that the system can be effectively maintained and repaired to minimize downtime, optimize security, and enhance the longevity of the access control infrastructure.

Key Takeaway

Choosing the right access solutions for a building project requires careful consideration of various factors, from security needs to budget constraints. By answering the ten key questions outlined above, architects and planners can select access solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of their project.

dormakaba offers a range of customizable access solutions that can meet any security or access requirement, while also providing support and maintenance services to ensure the long-term performance of the access solutions. dormakaba is the right partner supporting in all the questions.


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