Networked access control from an analyst's point of view


As an analyst and member of the Automation Systems research team at ARC Advisory Group, I'd like to take a moment and share our viewpoint on some of today's most frequently asked questions regarding networked access control solutions.

How quickly do you believe the physical security and access control market is shifting toward IP-based solutions?
In the past, security concerns inhibited the adoption of IP-based solutions, but end users have started to have more confidence in this approach. Although the market is observing a shift from analog systems to digital systems and IP networks, non-web based systems still generate more than 75% of market revenue.

By 2016, ARC believes IP-based systems will comprise more than 35% of the market in terms of shipments, and have a CAGR more than five times larger than non-IP systems over this period. Many new buildings utilize IP-based building control systems, so market growth will be heavily influenced by the strength of new construction markets.

What is the reason for this shift?
Many organizations are interested in IP-based video surveillance solutions and access control devices because IP networks provide many benefits that cannot be achieved with proprietary networks. With IP networks, many applications can share the same network and it's also possible to integrate these applications. Additionally, IP networks enable remote communications.

With adoption of IP technology, it's possible to seamlessly integrate various security systems. IP-based systems allow end users to manage video monitoring, access control, and intrusion protection on one single network in an integrated environment. Integrating all security-related processes ensures better facility management and many organizations that previously had various security systems on isolated networks are now investing in IP networks.

How important are open and scalable development platforms for facilitating this shift?
End users want security solutions that are easy to expand, customize, and integrate with other solutions. We're seeing a strong trend by more progressive end users to integrate previously disparate systems such as video surveillance, access control, incidence response, and others. Systems that use an open and scalable platform allow information to be exchanged seamlessly between the systems, creating a more robust security and access control system.

Also, end users want the freedom to choose from a large range of products offered by various suppliers and this is possible with open standards, which allows end-users to tailor their solutions to best meet their needs. Integration firms will be able to serve end users better as they can build a solution with products from various manufacturers. ARC firmly believes the market is headed in this direction.

Be sure to check back next week for more on open and scalable platforms and what this architecture means to networked access control end users moving forward.

Joe Gillespie
Analyst, ARC Advisory Group

ARC Advisory Group has become the leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure. Its coverage of technology and trends extends from business systems to product and asset lifecycle management, supply chain management, operations management, energy optimization and automation systems.