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IFSEC study: Trusted identities bridge gap between connected people, smart buildings

A recent access control study conducted by IFSEC Global has shed light on how trusted identities can serve as the backbone for smart buildings and today’s increasingly connected society. The study, sponsored by HID Global, hones in on the connected workplace, explores trends in smart buildings, and addresses the growing need for identity-aware building systems.

IFSEC’s study focused on how the access control infrastructure combined with trusted identities can connect disparate systems for enhanced monitoring and a better user experience as people enter and move around buildings, as well as access various systems or leverage building services once inside. With advanced technology now commonplace for even basic, everyday tasks, the study’s findings could be telling for a number of verticals.

“Most respondents want more integrated smart buildings and business applications that seamlessly work together. While many of them are realizing these benefits by using common management frameworks with centralized databases, this approach is generally quite expensive,” says Ashish Malpani, director of product marketing at HID Global. “The study reveals how trusted IDs offer a viable alternative for achieving a connected building at lower cost, better ROI and improved user experience–all by providing systems with knowledge of identities and their authorizations for access to elevators, parking garages, vending machines, printers and other systems.”

According to the report, 85% of respondents were aware that identities can be connected across multiple systems and devices, and more than 60% believe that having everything on one ID card or mobile device will provide operational efficiencies. More than half or respondents have already connected their building systems to access control applications, and stated that converging systems can be a factor in deciding to upgrade the access control infrastructure.

Top applications include integrated logical access, AV conferencing, elevators, secure print, locks for interior draws and racks and HVAC control. Other key findings include:

  • 63% of respondents defined their building as “smart” to at least some degree, a 13% increase as compared to a 2016 IFSEC Global report on smart buildings.
  • 60% of respondents said that their access control systems are already integrated with other buildings systems, and roughly the same percentage believe that system integration is hugely beneficial for user convenience.
  • 51% of respondents have already integrated time and attendance systems.
  • 45% cited asset tracking as the most likely system to be integrated in the future.
  • System integration can also be a trigger for access control upgrades – at least 40% cited converged physical and logical access as a decision factor.
  • Other top upgrade triggers included enhanced security (65%), multi-factor authentication (46%), and multiple ID form factors, such as mobile devices and cards (41%).
  • Roughly 67% of respondents believe that IT and facilities/security management teams need to work together more closely when buying, installing and using new technologies.

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