Redefining access control in the commercial sector

Issue 6 2022 Commercial (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management

Marcel Bruyns.

As South Africa continues to emerge from a global crisis, the question of how to control access to office parks, industrial facilities and other commercial buildings has moved on from checking for Covid-19 symptoms. The focus is now fully back on security and management, and the ways in which organisations can best use technology to keep their assets and personnel safe and secure, especially in the face of concern surrounding proposed new trespassing laws.[1]

In line with the current trends surrounding building infrastructure, effective access control is optimised with building functionalities. It offers high levels of automation, reduces operational costs and improves energy efficiency.[2]

The smart building

Our infrastructure is more intelligent than ever, in that it is built with the function to report back on how we use it. Smart buildings are constructed with integrated processes and enable people to implement, control and manage several functions in a unified way. This is also a future-proofing approach and opens the door for more advanced systems later on.

But it goes beyond technology. A smart building is people-centric, built to best accommodate and fulfil the needs of those who occupy it.[3] It is also flexible and sustainable, playing an active role in the lives of its occupants and the greater environment. How that role manifests or, in this case, how it controls people’s access, is the measure of that integration.

Measured and seamless experiences

For some organisations, access control can be as simple as a QR-code scanner. For example, the Axis Barcode Reader is an easy-to-install and scalable application that provides personnel and building visitors with a QR code that serves as verifiable credentials for camera and intercom stations.[4] This is a cost-effective solution that restricts unauthorised entry, while simplifying it for approved entrants.

Other organisations may need something more complex. Axis RFID readers, keypads, and credentials such as access cards and key fobs, not only formalise the entry process and offer an energy-conscious solution, but potentially serve as the lowest level of more comprehensive systems of control.

Going to the edge and creating an ecosystem

Access control management software is the first step in implementing a unified security strategy. By introducing an entry manager and all-in-one video systems and camera stations, facilities including office parks, public buildings and multinational properties can establish security at the edge and ensure appropriate and timely response procedures.[5]

Additional technologies such as network door controllers and relay modules then expand your security outwards, giving you an overview and extending functionality across your facilities. All of these solutions work together to create their own ecosystem, one that enables organisations to operate efficiently and with peace of mind.








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