During the pandemic, it became evident that adopting or transitioning to new technology was no longer an option but a necessity for businesses to stay securePrabhuraj Patil, Commercial Director, Physical Access Control Solutions, South Asia, HID Global
What is your role in HID Global and how has the PACS business been doing in India?
The definition of a ‘secure place’ and need for enhanced security continues to evolve. There are numerous triggers for these changes – increasing cyber-attacks, shift to hybrid or remote working, higher mobile device penetration and so on. Having been in the electronic security industry for over two decades, I have personally seen the access market ecosystem drastically transform. A significant portion of my security journey has been with HID Global which began in 2013. Within the company, I had the opportunity to oversee businesses in India as well as the SAARC region. Currently, as the Commercial Director for PACS, I look after the entire access control business for South Asia.
With increased demand for holistic security and proliferation of mobile devices, there is a strong upward trend in the adoption of advanced physical and mobile access control solutions in India. A recent industry report pegged the country’s access control market to grow up to USD 313.11 million by 2030. Therefore, there is no denying the tremendous opportunity this market holds. India remains a key market for us and the last few years we have seen a steady uptake for our cloud and mobile-based solutions among enterprises. In addition, we have also seen interest from banks, educational institutions, healthcare units and government entities.
Some of our recent offerings include:
- HID Mobile Access
- Next Generation HID Signo Readers
- HID Aero Controllers
- Seos Credential Technology
Can you talk more about the recent HID exclusive Global PAC- survey?
We recently published a report in partnership with IFSEC Global titled “New State of Access Control Report Underscores Growing Demand for Future-Proof Mobile Solutions”. We surveyed over 1,000 respondents across the UK, EMEA, North America, and the Asia Pacific for their comprehensive insights into the current state of the physical access control market, challenges and future industry trends. The report also sheds light on regional disparities, complexities in decision making and challenges related to upgrading.
Some key highlights from our survey:
- User convenience: 60% of the respondents cited ‘ease of use’ as their primary reason to shift or adopt a newer access control technology. Besides security and seamless technology, both users (employees, residents or visitors) and businesses (security, facilities and IT teams) alike look for convenience.
- Contactless solutions and mobile access: 42% of respondents said they plan to upgrade to mobile-ready systems. This means that businesses will benefit from increased operational efficiency, while users (employees/visitors) will find using their mobile devices easier and more convenient. The survey also indicated that the pandemic played a role in the increased demand for contactless physical access control. About 32% of respondents cited they are looking to adopt touchless solutions, including contactless biometrics.
- Open standards and interoperability: 49% of respondents selected the ability to support new tech in the future as one of the top three features in a new access control solution, and 33% included integration with existing security platforms as being important. This means that businesses are moving away from proprietary models and adopting open standards-based technology which allows for software upgrades via the cloud. One in five respondents added that interoperability and open standards will be among the top trends to shape the coming future of physical access control.
Therefore, actively tracking market changes and being able to cater those needs can be a game changer for players within this space. With over three decades of rich industry experience and several global successes, we like to share our findings with the larger security community. With these valuable insights, we hope to grow collectively as an industry and support our related stakeholders.
Please share your thoughts on the current physical access control (PAC) market. And, what are some of the commonly seen challenges users face when implementing PAC technology?
The dynamic nature of this market is evident when we compare this year’s report to our 2020 report. The 2020 report states that 51% of respondents believed their current system either met or exceeded their requirements. Within just two years that figure dropped to 41%. Several market triggers can contribute to these changes, with the pandemic being the biggest one in the last two years.
As per this year’s report, ‘security’ and ‘convenience’ were among the top challenges with respect to implementation. 40% said that their biggest challenge was protecting against security threats while being able to issue and revoke ID credentials efficiently was selected by 37%. The pandemic in addition posed a fresh set of challenges when it came to administering access control credentials.
With newer demands also come new challenges. There is a quick breakdown of the challenges respondents selected while wanting to upgrade or implement PACS technology:
|Lack of compelling ROI/business priority||15%|
|Compatibility with legacy systems||13%|
|Disruption to daily business||10%|
|Learning a new system||9%|
|No current solution meets requirement||7%|
|Restrictions related to COVID||6%|
What are your plans for the PACS business in India in the next quarter of 2022?
India is a rapidly growing access control market.Industry reports state that hardware upgrades will continue to rank highest in India, followed by software and services. Demand for contactless biometric solutions like facial recognition is also expected to grow in the country. As for industry-wise adoption, we can expect IT businesses to continue being the biggest adopters, followed by BFSI, Defense, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Logistics and Government institutions.
Undoubtedly, the Indian market is ripe with opportunity. As global leaders in access control technology, we look forward to further strengthening our presence in the coming months.
How are you managing this dynamic market in terms of resourcing and manpower, do you have any plan which you want to share?
Our investments will be primarily targeted toward enhancing business operations, addressing customer needs, increasing brand awareness and ensuring our customers have a seamless experience.
What are the key challenges CIOs face when implementing new tech onto old or existing infrastructure (when it is not a green field project)?
During the pandemic, it became evident that adopting or transitioning to new technology was no longer an option but a necessity for businesses to stay secure. Often, legacy security solutions use proprietary technology that is too static and offers little or no provision for functional enhancement. Unable to adapt, businesses could become easily prone to attacks. In many cases, legacy technologies are anchored to obsolete software, devices and protocols, making it difficult to drive change in the access control infrastructure.
Therefore, it is crucial for decision-makers like CIOs to work with technology partners who can provide solutions that are seamless and do not create obstacles. Adopting interoperable technologies with high-frequency credentials and modern encryption standards will ensure the best security and easily support new functionality.
Our survey respondents stated that these were the top 5 priority features they sought when looking to tackle implementation challenges:
- Ease of use: 60%
- Ability to add or support new tech in the future: 49%
- Touchless/contactless capabilities: 43%
- Mobile access: 41%
- Integration with existing security platforms: 33%