Governing is not the only thing requiring anticipation. The same goes for investing in a new access-control system. That's why it's good to ask yourself beforehand exactly what such a system must do. And what you should take account of when investing in one.
In discussions concerning new access-control systems, I'm usually asked only about their functionalities. That's understandable, because it's important to know first off whether the system can actually support the daily work activities.
However, the question that's often forgotten – but which I think should be question number one before looking at other issues – is whether the intended system is indeed future-proof. After all, you don't know whether things are going to change in the organisation and, if so, which things and when. For example, new laws and regulations can have huge consequences for the setup of a security system. In addition, the risks and threats that a security system must protect against are increasing each day. Finally, there are the trends and technical developments in the security sector that you may wish to slipstream.
Countless issues ultimately interact with security, so organisational changes nearly always affect the security process. As a security manager, you want to be prepared for this, so an access-control system must be able to handle this. With hardware-based, closed systems, this is difficult: they're not adaptable to the organisation's new reality. In case of doubt, you're better off not wasting your time taking a closer look at such a system's capabilities.
The solution lies in a software-based, open access-control system.
So what's the solution then? The solution is a software-based, open access-control system. Software updates keep these systems up-to-date. Software changes make it possible to expand your system easily, allowing you to respond not only to today's security demands but also to those of tomorrow.
The reason that I emphasise this, is that an access-control system is a considerable investment. Not only in money, but also in terms of time. The idea is to avoid you having to spend a lot of time after the purchase dealing with workarounds because the system's capabilities turn out not to align with the continuously changing reality.