Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on society, with the tech sector adapting in response to the crisis. Of all the changes, technology progressed a lot as people looked for ways to navigate social distancing, remote work, and the need to decrease operation costs. Access control is one of the industries that saw this change, particularly as people sought ways to mitigate touching surface areas that might be contaminated. Even beyond the dangers and fears of the pandemic, people are seeing the benefits of bringing access control into the new century as society embraces the Cloud and online technologies, opening new possibilities for how we engage with data and tech.
While certainly not a new concept, the idea of Software as a Service (SaaS) saw a boost in popularity. A company based around SaaS specifically creates software that it leases out to people, hosting global data centers and charging people to use it. While this concept was started in the 60s, implementing the Cloud in the modern era has allowed people to embrace this business model as data centers can be accessed from anywhere in the world (Literally!). Geokey is one of many companies that are now utilizing the SaaS model and evolving it alongside access control to create Access Control as a Service (ACaaS).
What is ACaaS?
Access Control as a Service follows the same tenants of subscription-based Software as a Service, though in the context of access control. Although the specific hardware remains on-site, whether a door controller or a deadbolt, the software integrated into the hardware is managed in an off-site data center. Thanks to advancements in the Cloud, the possibilities of embracing this sort of service become much more viable and less time and money-consuming. It allows for firmware systems, which we have discussed in previous articles, to become obsolete since cloud-based software can be automatically updated and maintained from the data center on a needs basis rather than requiring manual updates at individual pieces of hardware.
There are a lot of benefits to embracing ACaaS over more legacy systems:
1. Minimal Cost: The upfront cost of running ACaaS is much cheaper than you might believe, as well as being cheaper to maintain. It brings the ease of modern digital access control systems without needing extensive on-site data centers that constantly require maintenance, refurbishing, troubleshooting, and energy. This saves money initially, as well as in the long term.
2. Accessibility: Because the data is centralized in one location, companies offering ACaaS tend to run their centers 24/7 and provide constant on-demand support. This allows businesses to manage, give permissions where needed, and leave all the back-end work to the professionals rather than needing to figure it out themselves or spend additional money for maintenance.
3. Secure: While cyber threats may be considered a concern, established ACaaS companies have their data very secure, with top-level encryptions running through secure Cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure. If anyone wants to hack into your access point, they will have to fight through an encrypted fortress built to resist cyberattacks to do so.
4. Convenient: Strong security does not compromise ease of use. When it comes to mobile-based access control, the goal is to make life easier for everyone, from managers to employees/tenants, without sacrificing privacy and security. Administrators can manage who has access to their property. At the same time, users can easily swipe to access the places they have permission to use. It should be easy to navigate and understand on any tech level.
5. Environmentally Friendly: In a previous article, we discussed how utilizing Microsoft Azure and being cloud-based was a cheaper and cleaner alternative to hosting on-site data centers. If you want to look at some of the incredible statistics we pulled, go check the article out!
Geokey and ACaaS
Geokey is based on the ACaaS business model and has all of the benefits listed above. By integrating with reliable hardware partners rather than developing it ourselves, we are able to focus entirely on our strength: creating and managing top tier and easy to use software. It also allows Geokey to be very versatile in what it offers, integrating with both indoor and outdoor hardware and offering users access to everything right from their phones. Our app keeps track of the points you’ve been granted permission to access and is a lot easier to manage than a ring with twenty keys on it!
Following the PSIM 2.0 system, Geokey combines smart access control with data analysis and puts the power in the hands of property managers. They can give and take access away with a single click and look at data to see what buildings are being utilized and how often.
Geokey runs through Microsoft Azure, ensuring our software is highly encrypted, and your data is secure. Managers have access to the tools and data they need when they need it without paying for on-site data centers or paying for maintenance. Managers pay by access point, not user, and because over 90% of the world’s population owns a smart device, there is no need to pay for new keys, cards, or firmware. Everything can be automatically updated and managed right through the Cloud!
If you want to learn more about how Geokey can revolutionize your access control, schedule a 20–30-minute demo with one of our outstanding reps: we would love to help show you how Geokey can meet your needs as a business built around Access Control as a Service.