The global market for electronic access control systems (EACS) is expected to grow by more than 6% annually between 2017 and 2021, according to a new report by industry analysts. Biometrics—including finger and hand scanning technologies—will lead that growth, but there should also be increased demand for more traditional authentication methods such as keypad and door contact access control systems.
These trends reflect growing concerns about terrorism and about the security of financial transactions, especially as “cashless” becomes the new norm. It’s also expected that schools will be a big adopter of electronic access control systems over the next five years.
Technology’s Role in the Growth of Access Control Systems
On a more positive note, advancements in technology should foster growth by making access control installations easier and more cost-effective. This includes the spread of wireless capabilities and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Newer systems tend to make usability a high priority, which includes compatibility with mobile devices
Not only does reduced wiring simplify the installation process in new construction projects, it makes retrofitting a more appealing option for those with outdated access control systems. Likewise, newer systems tend to make usability a high priority, which includes compatibility with mobile devices (SMS notifications, for example) and more intuitive software for managing permissions.
Manufacturers featured in the report are some of the biggest names in electronic access control, such as Siemens and ASSA ABLOY, the parent company of brands SARGENT, Adams Rite, Yale and others. ASSA ABLOY in particular has a reputation for innovation, which will help propel growth in the access control market over the next five years.
Significant Growth in Access Control Predicted for Healthcare and Education
The predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.13% applies to the global market and multiple applications, including commercial, industrial and residential.
It’s expected that new construction of healthcare and education facilities will drive demand
In the United States, as noted by authors of a related study, it’s expected that new construction of healthcare and education facilities will drive demand for electronic access control systems between now and 2021. The federal government will also be a big purchaser of EAC systems during that time, especially as it prioritizes biometric readers for its high-security facilities.
On the industrial side, market analysts foresee a larger role for access control in areas such as automotive manufacturing, aerospace, steel and utilities.
Here, electronic locks will likely see steady growth over the next several years as companies look to tighten up security by controlling access to their commercial operations and manufacturing facilities.
Moving from Single- to Multi-Step Authentication Systems
One noteworthy trend in the report is a shift from systems that require a single step for access to those with multiple layers of authentication. In biometric applications, this could include the combination of fingerprint and iris scans.
Adding an extra layer of authentication reduces the chances for error (known as the false acceptance rate or false rejection rate in biometrics). But this tightening of access control is likely to be reserved for high-security applications such as government facilities.
Challenges to Implementation
Despite the market’s positive forecast, the report identifies some challenges to growth. At the top of that list is the high cost of implementing electronic access control systems.
Advances in technology could help bring costs down though, especially as the trend toward interoperability increases. This makes it easier to connect devices from different manufacturers, which would let organizations expand their current access control system or integrate it with existing components rather than purchase a whole new system.
The built-in troubleshooting capabilities of some products makes maintenance simpler and more cost-effective
As noted above it also cuts down installation times, while the built-in troubleshooting capabilities of some products makes maintenance simpler and more cost-effective.
How Professional Advice Can Help
Of course, with so much choice in access control today it’s easy to overspend or miscalculate your needs. Getting the advice of an experienced integrator can help prioritize features, identify opportunities for savings and make the most of investments in access control.
If you’d like to discuss your facility’s needs with an access control specialist, contact ABC Security today. ABC is an ASSA ABLOY Elite Integrator and can customize an access control solution to your unique needs.