ISJ Exclusive: Flexible, scalable, intuitive access control

ISJ Exclusive: Flexible, scalable, intuitive

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Tim Timmins, EMEIA Business Development Manager (EAC), ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions explains why organisations of every size and type are switching to cloud-based access control.

ISJ June Edition Exclusive

When organisations invest in new technologies or processes, efficiency, agility and convenience are right at the top of the list of demands. This is because these factors are critical across almost every area of economic activity.

Within security and access control specifically however, these needs have driven a rapid growth in the adoption of cloud management. In fact, according to one ASSA ABLOY research report, perhaps a third of security end users already use cloud-based software to manage access to their premises.

The benefits of managing access in the cloud

The motivations for moving to secure cloud management are easy to understand. Business critical teams want to stay in control from anywhere, at any time. This can be especially important in security, where unexpected issues are usually urgent – or time sensitive, at least. Cloud management keeps staff in control from wherever they happen to be.

Moreover, cloud management simplifies budgeting and reduces unexpected IT expenditure – and the simple subscription model it uses prevents nasty surprise bills for hardware or support costs.

According to one technology fund manager: “[The cloud] allows businesses to save the cost of having to own, maintain and manage their own data centres (servers, storage and networking) while still having the ability to provide full computing capabilities. Cloud computing is a key part of businesses’ digital transformations”.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre suggests another benefit of using cloud security services: That it may encourage good practice and improve organisational resilience (Security Benefits of a Good Cloud Service).

Security management must be agile and futureproof; cloud access control provides this. The inherent scalability of a cloud solution offers another huge advantage for businesses which may need to expand or pivot the use of space at any time.

Cloud access management, the easy way to take control

How, then, can businesses decide between the cloud solutions available on today’s security marketplace? What should they look for in a cloud access management solution? The security of the environment, of course, is of prime importance. Data must be kept safe; software should be automatically and regularly updated. At least four more features are also essential:

  • A broad, adaptable device range

An access solution must offer a wide range of digital locks, which helps a business to manage their workspaces and workflows with maximum efficiency. Growing organisations require hardware for almost any interior or exterior door, including wooden doors, glass doors and fire doors. Cabinets, gates, server racks and many other openings may need to be locked with a wireless or wired device. For high security applications, hardwired locks paired with encrypted readers should be available.

  • Flexible control for different security levels

Areas inside a building often have different security requirements. Where entrance doors or critical zones need real-time (online) monitoring and alerts, some other parts might have lower demands for physical security. Here, offline devices can be installed faster and more cost efficiently, with no need for network cables or hubs.

For example, an organisation may wish to control access to entrances, labs and server rooms in real time, with online management. Installing offline devices elsewhere adds control for access to areas that previously would be uneconomical due to location, environment, or cost.

  • A futureproof choice of credentials

For user convenience, a cloud system should support all common RFID technologies, including iCLASS and MIFARE. However, the investment in the system should be futureproofed, offering the chance to upgrade later to smartphone keys.

Because many organisations still have legacy credentials in circulation, rolling out a shift to mobile access control will be more cost efficient if mobile and RFID may be used simultaneously. Deploying our Signo readers ensures support for almost any RFID credential as well as Bluetooth, NFC and Apple Wallet compatibility.

  • Cost-saving, energy smart devices

Reducing energy use and waste is one of the most pressing business challenges of the next 12 months – and the next 50 years. Wireless devices consume much less electricity during use than equivalent wired locks. In addition, installation is quick and without disruption to walls or work.

Also, consider digital locking cylinders which are self-powered by energy harvesting technology – no wires, no batteries – for zero in-use power consumption. Can the cloud system offer the flexibility to manage multiple device types remotely?

Flexible cloud-based access control boosts agility and efficiency

ASSA ABLOY’s Incedo Cloud access control ecosystem was developed to meet all of these needs. When they choose Incedo, organisations can secure almost any opening with offline electronic locks or in real time with online devices. Switching between online and offline management is seamless. The only difference is how credentials are managed, online or via updaters.

They issue building users with credentials of their choice; from there, building users can then gain access via smartcards, mobile keys stored on their smartphone or energy-harvesting smart keys. In addition, they manage everything from one place, in the cloud, via the flexible, scalable, intuitive Incedo platform.

The entire ecosystem is modular, designed for simple adoption and easy expansion at any time and in any direction. An Incedo Cloud system can include both wired and wireless locks, all natively integrated and covering almost any application: For a handful of doors or hundreds, a startup or a staff of thousands across several locations.

To find out more information about Incedo Cloud, visit:

This article was originally published in the June 2023 edition of International Security Journal. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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