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The experience of organizations that have adopted leading and even bleeding edge technologies shows that several characteristics are key to successful implementation. These include:
1. Patience. Most advanced technologies are early stage and don’t have the ability to meet all requirements out of the box. Facility managers should be patient with technology (and vendors) and be willing to work through multiple issues over time.
2. Team approach. Facility managers should assemble a team to review and implement new access control technologies. This would include personnel from IT, operations, management, security, and other departments as appropriate.
3. Pilot projects. It’s a good idea to pilot new technologies in environments that are likely to generate success. Allow employees to be early adopters and opt-in, perhaps getting the privilege of being in a “fast lane.”
4. Communications. Successful adopters of new technologies must be able to communicate effectively with technology providers as well as their own leadership. Expectations should be documented, and project goals should be established. Regular progress meetings should be planned over a long period of time, well beyond the initial installation.
5. Investment. Being on the forefront can be expensive. Upfront costs for access control technologies may be followed by additional investments, upgrades, and revisions. There will likely also be costs incurred from consultants, security system integrators, and access control software providers.
6. Shared experiences. Most companies that are successful at implementing new technologies are comfortable sharing successes and pitfalls with peers. To attain long term success, technology-leading companies need multiple customers and partners that are invested in their success.
The next 10 years should be the decade of advanced access control technologies. Facility managers will likely see a shift from plastic access control credentials to smartphone apps and or biometrics. These technologies have the potential to offer enhanced and more convenient access solutions for end users while improving access control efficiency and effectiveness for facility managers.
Daniel O'Neill (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the founder and CEO of Advanced Data Risk Management (ADRM), a risk management and security engineering company.
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