Top 5 Reasons to move to the Cloud
Welcome to the Door Cloud blog! In our 1st post let’s ask ourselves the most fundamental question, why move to the cloud. Moving to the cloud is probably the most dominant trend in the IT industry at the moment and the very same arguments apply also to the Physical Access Control (PAC). While trying to avoid the well known and the obvious, let’s take a closer look at the arguments that are specific to PAC.
Outsourcing is a good thing. For many well known reasons, it is considered to be a good business practice for a company to focus on their core business and outsource as much of the rest as possible. Speaking about security, users are already outsourcing a lot of their security management to the security companies. These days, security companies normally offer remote intruder detection, remote video surveillance, on-site personnel such as receptionists and guards, and incident response. The next logical step is PAC. With the cloud, PAC outsourcing becomes perfectly viable.
The principle of outsourcing the non-core business applies also to the security companies. Vast majority of them are not considered to be IT companies. Their core expertise is physical security, not IT. For them, outsourcing the servers, software, systems management and IT expertise makes perfect sense.
2. Improving security
This may sound controversial to some, but the evidence is all around us. Online security not only works, some of the most secure systems on the planet are online. Actually, online security is the most advanced area of security. The same security solutions used for say, online banking, are also used for cloud PAC. If properly applied, the chances of hacking can be brought very, very close to zero.
The problem with traditional PAC systems is that they were not designed for the internet, yet many of them, in one way or another, are connected to the internet. Without proper internet security by design, such systems are in fact more vulnerable to hacking.
The second argument for improved security is that the cloud PAC is operated by professionals. Cloud PAC system operation can be outsourced to virtually any extent, reducing the risk of assigning security roles to non-security employees from IT or HR departments with little or no security training.
The third argument for improved security is realtime response. Being online by its nature, cloud PAC offers much better options for event processing, alarm management, incident escalation and situation awareness in general.
Convenience of a cloud based system should be quite obvious. It can be accessed from anywhere using just a browser or a smartphone. (Given that the appropriate security measures have been applied?, of course.)
The thing with the PAC systems is that the higher convenience translates directly to the higher security. Say, you are on a fishing trip. Receiving an alarm in realtime, being able to assess the situation online, to coordinate with the others, to resolve or escalate the incident, all from your fishing boat is not just convenient. It allows more and better security.
There are many ways in which a cloud PAC is more flexible than a traditional self-owned and self-run system. For example, it is easier and cheaper to deploy gradually, easier and cheaper to expand geographically, easier and cheaper to move, and even easier and cheaper to replace.
Yet there is one area where there is no comparison, and that is administration. Cloud PAC administration can be performed entirely in-house by the user, entirely by the service provider, or shared and mixed between them to any extent. Compare that to the traditional system where everything from system management, administration and operation is typically performed in-house*.
5. Reducing costs
It’s a well known fact that cloud helps to reduce the costs by transforming IT assets to services. That in itself is a good thing, at least for the books. In addition to that, it turns out that the cloud actually brings significant cost savings across the entire IT landscape. That is perhaps the strongest appeal of the cloud . Nonetheless, the final answer lays in your own TCO (Total-Cost-of-Ownership) against TCS (Total-Cost-of-Service) calculation.
*) Traditional PAC systems typically have not been designed for the secure remote use over the internet. For such system to be secure online, special measures, such as VPN tunnelling, have to be applied. All that significantly increases the complexity and the costs of the system.