Before recent innovations, moving from a legacy access control system to an IP-based system was expensive and time consuming. Security directors were hesitant, often asking questions such as: 'Will I have to replace my entire system? How much will it cost to rewire and transition my cardholders and databases?'. How much downtime are we looking at? While these concerns are still prevalent and valid, and each installation is unique, here are three reasons why it's never been easier to migrate to IP access control.
1. Increased Availability of Open Solutions Minimizes New Hardware and Wiring Costs
When faced with the upgrade of a proprietary access control system, organizations generally do not want to be stuck with one solution or provider. In response, the access control market is evolving towards greater openness. Security associations are creating new communication protocols to foster interoperability, and vendors are releasing new intelligent IP controllers that simultaneously support communication between legacy equipment and new IP-enabled wireless and Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) door locks, and open IP access control software. With these open solutions, organizations can minimize new hardware and wiring costs, while still benefitting from the advanced functionality of a new IP-based access control system.
2. Convenient Tools to Transition Cardholders and Databases Lessen Migration Time and Costs
Over a decade ago, there were a few key access control players in the market. Today, organizations that are looking to upgrade to IP access control are most commonly migrating away from one of those legacy systems. This gives vendors and integrators an opportunity to offer import and migration tools that help customers simplify the transition of cardholders and databases onto newer IP access control systems. These tools have made the whole migration to IP access control far more efficient and cost-effective.
3. Possibility For a Phased Approach to IP Access Control Allows for Long-Term Planning and Budgeting
Planning for a full migration to IP access control does not have to happen all at once. Budgets and system implementation can be mapped out over many years. A key aspect is selecting an open-architecture access control system that supports many different devices and technologies. With an open IP access control system, organizations can start by replacing only the controllers, then begin to convert specific doors, or buildings to newer IP-enabled readers. Organizations can also test new access control technologies before committing to specific types of readers and card technologies. The organization will experience a more gradual migration to IP, on its own terms.
As new advancements in technologies, open protocols, and system design strategies continue to evolve, security directors will have fewer concerns about moving to an IP access control system. Instead, they will get more of what they have been asking for- open, secure and flexible options to help protect their assets and people, while keeping costs of system enhancements manageable.