2021 Security Industry
Predictions After an Unprecedented Year of Change
- By Mark Duato
- Dec 02, 2020
To say that 2020 has been a challenge is an understatement.
COVID-19 has created unprecedented
circumstances that have upended life as we know
it, and redefined what it means to be resilient in the
ever-evolving security industry. Now, more than
ever, there has never been a greater need for innovation.
In the past, resiliency was achieved through a balance of
maintaining operational capabilities and optimizing the day-today
functionality of spaces. But resiliency means much more
than that, especially now. It means finding ways for businesses,
customers and partners to manage unpredictability in the face of
adverse and challenging times.
Despite the health, economic, climate and social crises we
are experiencing, the security industry remains strong and has
a bigger role to play than ever before. The demands of today’s
business environment are accelerating the need for and adoption
of existing and emerging technologies to not only create
safer and more secure functional environments, but also to ensure
some level of continuity within our daily lives and future
phases of reopening.
Reopening the spaces where we work and gather will require
creative reimagining to remain resilient now and in the future.
Unfortunately, there are still many unknowns around COVID-
19, which can be challenging when trying to determine the
steps needed to make a facility safer.
To be resilient now means understanding the complexity of
managing facilities, including safety and security, reducing touchpoints
and enabling social distancing. Looking ahead, it will also
be crucial to understand how to leverage new technologies and
reimagine existing technologies in new ways to sustain resiliency.
Touchless solutions, mobile, and wireless technologies are
three frictionless access control solutions that are gaining in importance
during a time when resilience is key.
The understanding and interest in making the entire process
of moving through a space – from entry to exit – more automated
and hands-free already exists, and there are signs that these concepts
are expanding with new innovations and applications of
For example, a new application for an existing technology is
the use of ultra-wideband (UWB) to enable hands-free access to
entry and exit points. Using ultra-wideband technology, we can
tell if a credential holder is just walking by a door or is actually
walking toward the door with intent to enter. This provides the
security needed to enable access from a credential in your pocket.
As more automation around the door opening is introduced,
we anticipate demand for low-touch and hands-free products to
grow, particularly in verticals like education.
Most importantly, when it comes to building a resilient access
control system, these products will be valuable in helping
facilities re-open safely today, while also setting them up for a
faster, more effective response in the future should another public
health crisis occur.
Mobile has grown in importance during the pandemic, and
will likely continue well beyond the pandemic – particularly for
credentials. Mobile access is now desired more than ever for door
openings – both for convenience and as a means of reducing touchpoints.
A recent survey by HID Global found that 57 percent of
respondents see mobile access as the top trend shaping the access
control industry. Implementing mobile solutions can also move
business beyond the four walls of an organization or institution.
Mobile and remote applications also enable distance learning
from kindergarten through higher education and allow access to
health care from even the most rural locations. They have value
for business, too. As businesses manage remote workforces and
entities require solutions to control access to unmanned infrastructure,
the ability to issue access rights over the air is paramount.
It eliminates the need for key holders to go to an office
environment to have keys programmed, reducing the potential for
germ transmission, and enabling better control and auditability
of who is accessing various locations.
WIRELESS AND LOCATION SERVICES TECHNOLOGIES
Wireless technologies make it easier and more affordable to
expand access control deeper into the facility and to more applications.
Creative use of this existing infrastructure can also
help improve safety by managing traffic flow, limiting the number
of people in a given area, and allowing you to quickly change
how a particular space is used. It can also support contact tracing
and allow you to restrict access to areas if decontamination
Location services technologies have gained traction over the
years and have the potential to help manage germ spread. For
example, platforms like BluVision will be incredibly valuable in
supporting contact tracing efforts and enforcing social distancing.
Using real-time location and proximity-based location data,
location services technology can create a safe working environment
for employees and visitors, restore productivity and employee
confidence without compromising privacy, and adhere to
As we look at the future workplace and how to manage a disparate
workforce, it is clear that access control
has a significant role to play. Though this has
been a very challenging time for everyone, it is
driving us to find creative solutions that allow
us to build safer, healthier, and more secure environments
that will become the new standard
for high-performance buildings.
This article originally appeared in the November / December 2020 issue of Security Today.