The security and access control space has become increasingly concentrated in fewer hands, as larger players realize the importance, and potential in the market for large scale growth and recurring revenue. How can smaller, and regional players compete?
As technology continues to play a leading role in the access control space, it has become increasingly clear that Cloud-based SaaS management of access control systems is the next step in providing convenient, cost effective, and scalable solutions to businesses of all sizes.
Mirroring major players such as Adobe, Microsoft, and most corporate CRM software, access control providers are quickly seeing the benefits of making the conversion from high cost software, to offering subscription cloud based management. Why should this be the next move for any company offering access control?
What is Cloud Hosted Access Control
While it may sound complex, the reality of SaaS is very simple. Cloud hosting removes software from On-Premise servers, and instead provides access through an internet connection to remote servers, hosted by a third party. Instead of being restricted to access control software through a single desktop where it is installed, you will access your management software remotely, from any internet enabled device. In addition to increasing access, it also removes the pain of having to host, and manage your own server. Why is this important?
Pain Points of “On-Premise” hosting
Despite it’s widespread use, on-premise hosting comes with a host of issues that can leave your business, and clients, at risk of security breach. This largely has to do with the fact that once your technician has installed software onto the client’s PC, it is left up to them to manage. There are ways to manage this, however it is left to the discretion of the client.
What this leads to is the reality that clients generally load the on-premise software onto a PC without any back-up in place, turn off auto updates, and ignore updating and keeping the software compatible with the operating system. If updates, corruption, or any type of hardware failure occurs, this leaves clients unable to manage access solutions. What that means is an emergency call to your business, to provide service, and reinstall software.
Speaking of service calls, on-premise security requires a service technician to physically visit the site to perform maintenance or troubleshooting. That’s a call bogging down your team every time a client experiences a problem.
For customers, it may also mean increased cost of ownership over the lifetime of the service, as costs for workstations, servers, and components related to aging systems need to be replaced as they age, or your organization grows.
On top of that, during personnel changes involving IT, HR, or security staff who manage and have access to this software, single access points can be compromised. With a cloud solution, transitions are as simple as remotely invalidating those credentials, and assigning them elsewhere.
What are some benefits of the cloud to address these difficulties?
Upfront, switching your model from offering purchased software to a SaaS model can come with immediate cost benefits. As opposed to requiring an upfront purchase of costly software that can quickly climb into the thousands, SaaS allows for an almost no upfront fee conversion, with the cost of the subscription being spread out over the lifespan of the system. Overcoming cost objections may not be a prime concern for providers who mainly deal with large/enterprise level customers, however the cost benefits of the SaaS model extend beyond just software.
One of the greatest costs surrounding providers is service, and support. Cloud management allows for remote management of support and troubleshooting, removing the need for a technician to visit a client site to access and troubleshoot software. Instead of rolling a truck to a client site to assist in set-up, or troubleshoot, these functions are now accessible through a web portal that can be managed anywhere.
In addition to a lowered cost, fixed subscription costs allow for a concrete cost-of-ownership for your customers. The fixed monthly cost to host a site removes surprises with PC failures, back-up redundancy issues, operating system compatibility or failures.
Not only has cloud service lowered the initial cost of entry, allowing you to pass a lowered price on you your customers, remote management has removed the need for access control providers to schedule in-person troubleshooting, saving your organization time, and money, and allowing you to service greater numbers of clients, with increased ease.
In addition to reduced cost, remote management and cloud managed access control creates a simpler set-up, and management process.
An on-site hosted solution installation requires expensive servers and hardware, as well as the expertise and time to manage them. Particularly when managing large clients, you must ensure that the clients have the digital infrastructure in place to manage the solution. With cloud-based access, this process is taken out of the hands of customers. Door assignments and access levels are managed entirely through web-based applications, removing the need to manage client’s hardware needs and personnel, and focus on providing the best experience through easy to use software.
On top of that, one of the key selling points for both dealers, and customers, is the ability to manage access from ANY internet capable device. In a world of increasingly remote work, and increasing needs for flexibility, Cloud based access empowers both dealers and customers to manage their software from ANYWHERE, and untethers them from a desktop computer.
As a business evolves, it’s personnel, and security needs evolve alongside it. As a customer, cloud access control allows for additional personnel to be added as simply as ordering an additional keyfob. No additional server space, or administration. As a provider, remote access allows for your business to service MORE clients, with fewer technicians. Most modern SaaS access control systems have the same requirements whether you are storing 1000 credentials, or 10. Increased scalability is not just an additional value add for your customers,
In an age where cybersecurity is one of the most crucial factors in any service, there is a misconception that on-site access control software is more secure. However, SaaS systems are being seen as the best equipped systems for cyber attacks (providing the correct procedures are put in place, i.e. two-factor authentication). Varying levels of client dedication can result in weaknesses that expose client servers to malicious actors.
While an internally managed access control system can be perfectly safe, many sites lack the expertise and experience to effectively and securely manage access and online security for the system. With cloud-based systems, the security management is removed from the hands of internal teams. This removes responsibility from clients, while providing them with peace-of-mind that they are protected.
This shift can seem complicated, however that is why professional hosting companies can help to make your transition as simple as possible. With one email or call, and no difficult server transfers, major updates or downtime, your business will be cloud ready.
The transfer to a cloud system may seem daunting, however at My Managed Security, we pride ourselves on simple, safe transfer of existing client information. Beyond that, our team of professionals provide our dealers with the tools they need to confidently manage their client. We are also dedicated to providing training sessions through our vendor partners to ensure you, and every employee with a point of contact with the software, are fully confident in providing these solutions to your clients.