|The major trend ECKey has seen in 2014 is an increased demand for “accountable” access control that is both convenient and affordable
ECKey 2014/2015 Review and Forecast:
The major trend we have seen in 2014 is an increased demand for “accountable” access control that is both convenient and affordable. Tight budgets are shining a light on the true cost of ownership of card reader and biometric systems. In many ways these systems are similar to a GPS option on a car: you pay a lot more up front and are initially pleased but if you don’t pay for expensive software upgrades, the products quickly become antiquated. Then, it doesn’t take long before you turn it off and switch to smart phone-based GPS products like Google Maps or Waze. The two major advantages smart phone-based solutions offer over proprietary hardware solutions are that you are already paying for your smart phone service and you also get free, real-time upgrades.
End users will always look to capitalise on the tools they already have. Smart phones, whether personal or company-provided, are something everyone has. Since most of the phones are personal devices, they are much less likely to be shared, and you know immediately when they’re missing. Smartphones also come with a secure network. Using a network you already have lets you dramatically reduce system installation and ongoing maintenance costs, in most cases by 60-80 percent. End users will always look for a lower cost, more convenient solution that offers the same functionality. So, we can expect to see a rapid shift to smart phone access control in 2015 and beyond.
2014 has been a good year for ECKey, and it’s a great time to be in the access control industry if you have a smart phone or cloud-based product. We have experienced 50 percent-plus growth, and we expect that growth to accelerate in 2015 as end users demand secure, convenient, affordable and “accountable” access control. While there have been incremental improvements in proprietary panel/server-based access control products over the years, the fundamental system architecture has not changed since the 80s, and these systems still require a lot of labour and cabling at a time when secure wireless networks are ubiquitous. For these reasons, we see smart phone and cloud-based access control systems having an increasingly disruptive impact on any company still clinging to the past.
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