Construction

The convergence of electronic and mechanical platforms – the new reality you must prepare for

Infrastructure today must blend mechanical and electronic solutions to create a holistic experience

UAE is one of the largest construction markets in the GCC today, with the total value of the sector exceeding $1 trillion. At the same time, the construction landscape is being marked by various trends, one of which is the use of new technologies for access control that make day-to-day life easier. According to Mordor Intelligence[1], the global electronic security market is projected to witness a CAGR of 8.98 percent between 2019 and 2024. Keeping up with the latest technologies in this area can sometimes lead to a mechanical versus electronic mindset, where mechanical options are seen as mere opportunities to upgrade. But often, it’s more advantageous to consider how the two can complement one another for access control.

While it is often assumed that new technology must cannibalise the old, customers benefit more when we choose a combination of electronic and traditional mechanical solutions in a way that addresses their specific needs.

Ultimately, the decision to integrate electronic options should be based on the specific needs of customers for each door opening. When the unique purpose of each area of a property is taken into account, and a blend of mechanical and electronic solutions is used to serve those purposes, a more positive and holistic experience emerges for all parties.

While there will always be those applications in a property where mechanical is still the best option, the final outcome will depend on what can be achieved with that entry, and what the needs of the building are. It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming the same solution is needed across all doors, but it is really important to tailor the experience to each point in the property to maximize the convenience and security at the same time.

Jeff Bennett, Commercial Director, Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Allegion, shares some reasons why he believes that infrastructure today must support the convergence of mechanical and electronic solutions:

Enhanced experience

Convergence of mechanical and electronic solutions create an enhanced user experience. The most successful integration of new technologies happens when they are merged with the mechanical to create an enhanced experience for the end user. One example of successful technological convergence is the automobile. Today’s cars are more reliable than ever, but they also do a lot more than just getting you and the kids to soccer practice on time. The GPS system guides you to the field while the kids watch a movie on the built-in screen or browse the web by connecting to the car’s WiFi signal. You know you’ll arrive at your destination as always, but you’ll also have a better experience getting there. Infrastructure today must apply the same concept in order to meet customer requirements.

Keyless convenience

Today’s electronic and connected access solutions offer an new level of keyless convenience for customers, paired with high security and information about who entered the access point and when. For example, in the American hospitality industry, 73 percent of guests want to bypass the front desk, and 63 percent would prefer a mobile key solution. The style, security, and reliability expected from mechanical hardware is the foundation of the solution, while the addition of new technology offers expanded capabilities and conveniences to users. These solutions are also getting more affordable, making it possible to use them in applications beyond just high-security perimeter access points. Infrastructure that takes advantage of these new capabilities will stay competitive in a channel that’s rapidly evolving. Ultimately, even the most secure and reliable applications of mechanical hardware will become insufficient if they don’t offer users the level of convenience they expect.

Electronic solutions getting more affordable

In the past, the high cost of electronic solutions prompted many managers to cut costs by using them only at access points where the highest level of security was needed. Today, electronic solutions are affordable enough to implement throughout a property, even at interior doors where security is a minor consideration. In fact, electronics often make sense at many of these doors because they can offer data analysis around who used the door and when, as well as make the whole building operate as one integrated system that is properly secured.

It is estimated that the cost of sensors has reduced almost 50 percent in recent years. The cost of transmitting that information, bandwidth, has come down nearly 40 times. And the cost of processing that information has come down nearly 60 times. This means that electronic solutions can offer management more information about what’s happening in their building than ever, and at a decreasing cost. The return on investment of these solutions is, therefore, rapidly increasing, and with more and more customers expecting the convenience of keyless electronic solutions, the onus is on infrastructure to integrate them.

The future of infrastructure relies on convergence

With new technologies available all the time, it can be difficult to know where to begin adopting them to actually derive value. The tried and true starting point, however, is with the needs of users – not just within the building in general, but in each area and at each access point. An electronic solution may work best, pairing the solid reliability and high security of mechanical hardware with the keyless convenience and data collection of newer technology. The right blend of these solutions within a property creates a cohesive experience.

Content supplied by Allegion.

[1] https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/electronic-security-market

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