Access management systems are used by organizations to restrict unauthorized people from entering their premises, or certain critical departments and areas. While these systems have various hardware components, access management software is another core element that helps configure and control the entire system.
The features you should look for will depend on your business model, access environments, strategies, objectives, and budget. However, there are certain crucial factors common to all users of access management software.
Here are six such factors to look for when choosing an access management software solution.
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1. Setup and Configuration
As a user, you’re probably not an expert in setting up access management software. Therefore, you will need an authorized and experienced technician from the software provider for the initial setup and configuration of the software.
The best solutions allow you to configure the system according to your access strategies and goals, such as rule-based access or role-based access.
While some companies offer free configuration and setup, others charge a fee for the service. So you should choose the product carefully and factor setup into your budget.
2. Reports and Analytics
No access management software is complete without reporting features. Just about all access management software comes with the ability to generate reports, but these can vary.
You should examine these features to know whether the reports generated satisfy your business’ requirements. Some software may only provide general routine reports like staff management and door access operations.
However, if you need specific reports and data analysis capabilities, look for software that can deliver them. You should also check what kinds of reports are available by default and what types are available for an extra fee.
In today’s digitally interconnected world, managing different activities through multiple, separate systems rarely make sense. Likewise, the asset management software you choose should be capable of integrating various components.
Furthermore, the best systems offer a single-window view of all access-related processes. While some companies only need to manage their employees’ and authorized visitors’ smart cards, others have additional features like CCTV monitoring or face recognition systems.
Some organizations may be using a particular detection method (ANPR or RFID) to identify a car entering its premises and another to allow the driver access to the building. If both these processes are integrated, it will save a lot of time and complications. An efficient access management software should all access-related components and techniques to be comprehensively integrated.
This is yet another important factor you need to consider when choosing access management software, but one which many people often overlook. Any successful business catering to the changing requirements of today’s dynamic technological world will need to scale sooner or later.
When you want to add more components to your system, your software must allow you to make these changes seamlessly. If not, you will have to ditch your existing product and go for a new one, which can be a costly interruption to the smooth running of your business.
Therefore, it’s important to keep your future requirements in mind when choosing a solution for today.
5. Backward Compatibility
One of the other major things to consider is if the software you’re looking at using is backward compatible. This will be crucial when you need to upgrade the old version of your software when it becomes outdated.
Additionally, if you have traditional software and systems, backward compatibility will help you use your new software features with your existing systems. Otherwise, access management software without backward compatibility could render your access management system useless.
Cost is always an important area of concern for any business. Whatever features you are looking for in your access control software, it must also meet your budget.
Depending on your budget, you may have to make trade-offs and prioritize some features while sacrificing others. Not all features come with the product by default – for some, you may have to pay extra fees, so it’s important to check this.
Therefore, it’s important to find a solution that comes with the maximum amount of features as standard. For features that are not available by default, you’ll have to decide whether to pay the additional fees or if you can be satisfied with the features that are already included.
How to Choose the Best Option For You
When choosing the right access management software, it’s important to consider your business’ size, access environment, security needs, and the level of support you need. There is a wide range of choices available with various features. If you are a small business, you may only need a basic solution and you can go for software that has the features you need and fits your budget.
High-end solutions packed with advanced features are best for large organizations. In most cases, such elaborate products will only mean unnecessary expenses for smaller businesses.