Users Have Access Control on the Brain
Here at J.P. Freeman Co. we like to believe we have an accurate “fix” on the direction of the security industry. Through all our research and the manufacturers, integrators and users we know and interview, we try to get the latest “take away” from the trends in their business situations. However, with recent changes by the big players in the industry, this is becoming more of a challenge.
What do we make of a French company buying Pelco, the last of the great American video manufacturers? Or a big change at the top of GE Security management? Or a major video equipment maker working with Cisco? Trends in business situations are changing, and the security industry needs to adapt and follow this new direction.
Seizing Monitoring Opportunities
The industry is edging its way into building automation and even home automation, as long as interest rates remain low. The industry is currently eyeing monitored infrastructure opportunities as a result of deteriorated dikes in New Orleans and a collapsed bridge in Minneapolis.
It wasn’t long ago that the Mianus River Bridge in Connecticut collapsed killing several people. And if you’ve ever driven to JFK or La Guardia airports on a business trip, you’ve probably seen the rust buildup on the old New York overhead roads — the opportunity is tremendous for video equipment makers and installers. And then, of course, there’s convergence.
Edging Toward Access Control
Not every security user is immersed in a convergent system yet, but plenty are at different levels. Some are biting off a piece of the enterprise as a test case since new products, new architectures, new staffing assignments and many other systemic changes can make the convergence task a little disconcerting if taken on all at once.
One of the areas we looked at with users is what convergence means to them with respect to their buying plans, particularly the type of security products these users believe they will need for a new converged system (see graph). It was expected users would indicate an interest in more video surveillance products as they want to provide more remote monitoring throughout real estate footprints. To be sure, video does play a major role in new user convergence projects and there’s no question about its impact on monitoring key assets. But surprisingly, users across the United States chose access control as their No. 1 priority for convergence product purchasing.
One of reasons the access category received this shot in the arm is because the traditional protection scheme consists of readers at the external portals, and those internal portals are under control of the physical security department.
By contrast, IT department workers and employees have to log onto their PCs through a separate access system. That protection model is slowly changing as single-sign-on (converged) protocols are designed. Anyone passing a card through an external reader is sure to have those credentials registered throughout the converged network so that separate sign-ons then become unnecessary.
Right now, the interpretation of this strong need for more access control in converged networks means that card readers are needed at more places. But it could also mean the need for other identity checkers — even intelligent video or combination reader/cameras as fail-safe ID monitors — will be necessary in time.
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