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Higher education institutions “ready to embrace new access control technology” finds Genetec-HID Global study

25 August 2020

WHILE ACCESS control is a fundamental element of security regimes in the higher education sector, many older systems urgently need to be upgraded. That’s according to the findings of a new survey of 1,800 IT and education professionals conducted by Genetec and HID Global.

Organisations are ready to embrace new technology, it seems, and at the same time are looking to go “beyond the door” and integrate access control-centric solutions with other security and operations systems.

The survey highlights that 33.76% of readers, 30.6% of controllers and 24% of software programs are more than six years old. Older technologies such as barcode, magnetic stripe and 125 kHz low-frequency proximity solutions continue to dominate physical access control systems in the higher education sector. More than half of survey respondents still use magnetic stripe, while almost a quarter still use 125 kHz prox. 64% of survey respondents observed that their current access control system experiences malfunctions.

However, more than a third of survey respondents (35%) are ready to embrace more modern technology as a way of improving the experience for staff, students and administrators. Over half of respondents (54.2%) would be interested in using their access control credentials to support multiple applications beyond physical access, and 44% stated that better integration with other security systems/components is a key driver for upgrading their access control systems.

Most colleges and universities want their students to use a single card or mobile credentials for multiple types of applications from accessing rooms in Halls of Residence and checking out books from the library through to locking bicycles and paying for food, parking and more. However, 64% of survey participants said that, while they want to upgrade their systems, they view costs as an obstacle. This often leads institutions to migrate towards systems that fulfil minimum requirements because of cost, rather than seeking the features and integration capabilities they really want.

“There are new technology options that can make life easier for administrators as well as those who use the systems,” explained Jason Friedberg, commercial head for education sector projects at Genetec. “With ever-evolving threats, and the need for increased efficiency, accessibility and privacy, security on higher education campuses is an ever-changing environment. Institutions need to be prepared for these changes by upgrading to a unified video and access control solution that’s flexible, connected and easy to use.”

Friedberg added: “While cost is seen as an obstacle, the true value is often not factored in. With a modern and unified system, ongoing costs often end up being lower than those of legacy systems because the additional capabilities of newer solutions increase operational efficiencies across multiple departments.”

*Further detail on the Genetec-HID research findings can be found online at https://hid.gl/44D