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How a Campus Identity Roadmap can avoid outdated, misfit technology

ColorID identifies common campus identity pitfalls

Solidifying your Campus Identity Roadmap is an important first step toward deploying the modern technology that students have come to expect from their universities. Planning for the future today is vital but knowing where to begin, and more importantly what to include in the Roadmap, can be difficult.

An Identity Roadmap helps both the institution’s and vendor partners’ boots on the ground to better and more efficiently get to the root of a problem. If a campus has a Roadmap in place, everyone can benefit from having clear marching orders when it comes to migrating technologies and making refinements to a campus environment.

“Establishing an ID Roadmap helps everyone understand exactly where the institution is going, what its technology standards are on campus, and what they can do going forward,” says Todd Brooks, Director of Product Management at ColorID.

In addition to his responsibilities at the company’s North Carolina headquarters, Brooks spends considerable time in the field, on campuses across North America as part of ColorID’s Summit Conferences and stakeholder meetings. It is from this ground-level experience that Brooks has been able to identify some of the most common pitfalls that campuses face when there’s not a strategic, guiding document in place.

“On campuses that don’t have a Roadmap in place, we often see decisions happen without proper consultation across the stakeholder groups,” Brooks says. “Things like installing a brand new access control system, but hanging Prox readers. In that case, they’re installing tech from 30 years ago that’s no longer secure – it’s puzzling.”

What Brooks and the rest of the ColorID team routinely preach to universities is that a knee-jerk decision today could have far reaching ramifications. “Once you install some of this hardware on campus, it can last for upwards of ten years, and those decisions can be hard to go back on,” he says.

A plan for access

Perhaps the most important area for a campus to have an established Roadmap is physical access and security. In addition to being vital for student and campus safety, physical access is also where some of the most expensive mistakes can happen.

“Campuses need to be thinking about technologies when making a decision on reader hardware. You want to be sure the readers you put in now will support your credential needs down the line,” says Brooks. “Generally with hardware once you put it on the wall, you’re keeping it for a long time.”

Brooks sees campuses facing the same challenges time and again. “The main campus could be using HID readers on the wall at exterior doors, for example,” he says. “If all of a sudden a new residence hall is built and Schlage locks are hung on the doors, it’s the card office that has to face the conundrum of making all that work together.”

Campuses need to think about technologies when deciding on reader hardware. Be sure the readers you put in now will support your credential needs down the line.

Were the campus to establish a standard and working document to dictate the hardware selection process, these types of challenges could be avoided. “Selecting the wrong hardware often leads to a recard event or buying more expensive credentials to support multiple technologies in the card,” explains Brooks.

Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid knee-jerk decisions. “Seeing a lockset that you really like that may work for most of your needs – but not thinking about the credential technology that drives that hardware – can be costly,” says Brooks. “We see that in housing a lot.”

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