2020 Access Control Deep Dive: Cloud, Authentication Tech on the Rise

SSI’s 2020 Access Control Deep Dive identifies useful statistics on installations, prices, profits, markets, challenges and technologies.

2020 Access Control Deep Dive: Cloud, Authentication Tech on the Rise

Controlling where people are permitted to go and when they do so is one of security’s fundamental and most in-demand facets. With today’s solutions ranging from basic, single-door mechanical locks to sophisticated, multibuilding electronic and networked systems — and everything imaginable in between — access control is also one of the security industry’s most innovative and fastest growing sectors.

Integration with mobile devices and video surveillance, wireless products, biometrics, smart locks, and Cloud-based hosted and managed services are just some of the advances stoking the fire of this red-hot market.

According to the 2019 year-end report from Imperial Capital, which specializes in and tracks the broader security industry, what it terms the identity and authentication sector, outpaced all others from 3Q 2018-3Q 2019 with a 35.1% gain in company valuation multiples.

“Identity and authentication technology, from software to biometric equipment, is continuing to mature, as evidenced by its increasing adoption by an array of government and defense programs in response to increased security threats, international identification programs, as well as increased Cloud-based hosted access and ID systems being installed by integrators for both government and commercial sites,” Imperial Capital Managing Director, Institutional Research Group Jeff Kessler, who was named to the SSI Industry Hall of Fame earlier this year, wrote in the report. “The acceptance of analytics, behavior and related biometric modalities … have all played a role in the 50% increase in this sector’s valuation since December 2015.”

Such technologies and markets, and the opportunities they present, lie at the heart of Security Sales & Integration’s 2020 Access Control Deep Dive — the publication’s first dedicated research project into the sector.

This new study was conducted during March 2020 and included nearly 150 dealers and integrators from throughout the United States and Canada.

In addition to the balanced geographical footprint, the study also drew respondents from a wide range of company sizes. As well it spanned the residential, commercial and industrial access control markets — including projects, prices, margins, managed services, challenges and more. The full story unfolds through the graphs, lists and sidebars that follow.

View the 2020 SSI Access Control Deep Dive Results

53 Things Integrators Want From Their Suppliers 

  • More aggressive pricing and training. 
  • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration. 
  • Simple user interfaces and deeper troubleshooting tools for integrators. 
  • Standardization of card technologies and sales compensation strategies. 
  • Develop demo website that integrators can login and demo to customers. 
  • WiFi locks that work with standard high-security cards. 
  • Easier interfaces for normal customer functions so client can make changes to system at basic level.   
  • Lower cost HID printable cards.  
  • More robust wireless locks with realtime features. 
  • Easytodeploy visitor credentials via phone app. 
  • More widespread integration among intercoms and access control systems. 
  • Better point of sale material. 
  • System health monitoring that will automatically alert the integrator that service/support is required. 
  • Smoother integration with video. 
  • Realistic Cloud-based per door costs on an enterprise level. 
  • Lower cost to on smaller systems.   
  • UltraWideband location services. 
  • Webinars and training. 
  • More SMB offerings. 
  • Accurate ROI calculator for ACaaS systems. 
  • Create a better single-card/device solution for  ID/access/dining/library/sickbay/daycare.   
  • Improvement on cellular, Bluetooth and WiFi. 
  • Multitennant platform where integrator adds customers and bills them direct, not the ACaaS provider. 
  • Better remote support for techs and customers. 
  • BACnet integration. 
  • Better integration with WiFi locks. 
  • Generating properly qualified leads for once. 
  • It would be nice to see more one-click upgrades. 
  • Open API for Cloudbased products. 
  • Better web interface for remote connections. 
  • Enduser marketing campaigns and ROI calculations. 
  • Online marketing and advertising videos. 
  • Sales and design training. 
  • Multitechnology readers. 
  • More features to compete with softwarebased systems.   
  • Less cost so we can ease customers into having monthly rates for their access control system. 
  • Interoperability across hardware and platforms. 
  • Better technical support guidelines for installation.   
  • More Demos at suppliers and product showcases 
  • Long-range RFID. 
  • Less invasive and more standardized hardware sizes so switching it out is not such a task. 
  • PoE support for WiFi 5GHz. 
  • Webbased systems. 
  • Access to the developer API of Cloudbased services. 
  • More co-op marketing. 
  • More readers per controller. 
  • More remote access/control of the systems both for end user and installer for maintenance. 
  • Lower priced, easiertoinstall wireless hardware solutions. 
  • Longer range WiFi access control. 
  • Less expensive and readytoinstall cellular communications options.  
  • Better integration with wireless door locks, i.e. no gateway required.  
  • Better battery life in wireless locks. 
  • Hosted offerings and case study success stories.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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