Discover the Benefits of Cloud Door Access Control

The cloud is everywhere. From Microsoft OneDrive to Dropbox to Google Drive, nearly every business uses cloud storage to store documents and enable collaboration while using powerful cloud analytics tools to make their businesses more efficient. We keep our music libraries on cloud platforms like Spotify and Amazon Music instead of shelves of CDs or hard drives full of MP3s. Netflix streaming, of course, has long since replaced the DVD library. This year, spending on cloud platforms—for work or play—is expected to total over $670 billion!

All that is to say, the cloud is here to stay—and it’s even finding its way into physical security systems for clubs, gyms, and other membership-based organizations. Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are making tasks easier across countless industries. Access Control as a Service (AcaaS) has likewise become a game-changer for physical security. Let’s find out why as we explore the benefits of a cloud based system:

What is cloud based access control?

Like other cloud systems, cloud access control takes all the heavy lifting of managing access to physical locations on your premises or digital resources such as data and applications and offloads it onto cloud computing technologies instead of on-premises equipment.

For clubs, gyms, fraternal organizations, and other membership-based organizations, cloud door access control systems take all of the strengths and advantages of key card access control systems and combine them with the flexibility cloud platforms provide.

Cloud-based access control is more than just moving your software to a data center. Cloud door access control uses WiFi and Ethernet connectivity to enable access to your building by authorized employees and members with a mobile device, can grow with your business when you’re expanding your premises, and provides all the security you need and more—without upfront investments in bulky hardware, complex software, or expensive IT personnel. The cloud vendor handles all of that through a pay-as-you-go subscription—think of it as an Amazon Prime service for your building.

Moving to a cloud-based system provides a number of other advantages:

  • Routine software and controller firmware updates can be installed in a centralized, one-to-many manner without updating every card reader.
  • You can update your access control systems without the need for an installer to visit your site, saving you time and money while keeping your security up-to-date.
  • All of your membership and access credential data is backed up in multiple locations.
  • You can get more detailed reports and data analysis.
  • If you have more than one physical facility or if you have a large campus, cloud-based solutions allow all of your access control hardware to be connected and synced up to the same system.
  • Security officers can access the system from anywhere, typically using a smartphone or tablet, instead of having to be on the premises and in a specific “security room.”
  • Cloud based systems make it easier to provide system control and real-time tracking of access events to more people.

While cloud based door entry systems have really caught on with business owners, though, few are using the cloud to its full potential. Many clubs and membership organizations are using them the same way they use non-cloud access control systems, and while they benefit from the higher security and lower costs, they aren’t gaining all of the benefits they could from cloud based physical access control.

So, what can clubs do to use the cloud to its full potential to improve security on their premises and make life better for their members? Now that we’ve covered the basics of cloud door access control, it’s time to dive even deeper into the benefits of a cloud based system:

How Clubs Can Use Cloud Door Access Control to Its Full Potential

A cloud based door entry system is a powerful tool to make your building more secure while also making things easier and more convenient for your employees and members. When you use your new cloud based system to its full potential, you and your members enjoy:

Convenient Mobile Access Control

It’s easy to forget or lose a little credit card-sized key card, but much harder to lose or forget a smartphone. Many clubs that set up cloud based systems still stick with key cards, but these systems make cards redundant by tying access to your members’ mobile devices.

By using mobile access control over key cards, you can make your cloud door access control system not only more convenient but also more sustainable by using less plastic. Overall, members and visitors will find using their smartphones a lot more convenient.

Many mobile access scanners are also significantly more versatile than key card scanners and other non-cloud access control hardware. They tend to have a much higher range as well, making them more useful for vehicle access control.

Quick and Easy Access Configuration

There are two problems every club, gym, or other membership-based organization runs into with their access control systems:

  1. Getting new members set up in the system quickly, easily, and without headaches so they can get started using your premises and services right away.
  2. Revoking those permissions when a member stops paying their dues or cancels their membership quickly enough that there isn’t a gap period where they can use your premises for free.

When used properly, cloud based door entry systems solve both of these problems by making the process of setting up new user permissions and revoking a former user’s permissions take just a few clicks, or even happen completely automatically. Your cloud access control vendor is highly likely to have the whole process automated in their system, so you might not even have to lift a finger!

Fewer Event Planning Headaches

We can take the benefits of easy and fast access configuration one step further. It’s also extremely easy to adjust your members’ access permissions on the fly for special events. For example, you might provide access to a VIP service to all members who are present for a special occasion. Your cloud door access control system may even support setting it up so certain members have a set number of accesses to a specific amenity during this event. What’s more, you can also give quick, limited access to your premises and amenities to caterers and other contractors before, during, and after the event.

This is a powerful feature of cloud based access control systems that we don’t see enough clubs who use them take advantage of! It’s a great way to make your access control much more flexible and convenient for more than just members and staff.

Customization to Your Needs and Goals

Flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of a cloud access control system. They allow for a much higher degree of customization than on-premises access control hardware and software, ensuring that your security system meets the unique needs of your building, your staff, and your members.

You can, for instance, have the system send particular alerts for suspicious activity. As discussed above, you can grant specific individuals access to specific rooms and integrate your cloud door access control system with your membership database.

You can also streamline onboarding and termination of staff—for example, by setting up systems that support seasonal and cyclical employment, access for contractors, and whatever you might need in a customized way that works exactly how you need it to—with no missing features or unneeded frills.

Insights Into Building and Amenities Usage

Do you know when the peak usage time is for your pool? Cloud door access control systems come part and parcel with better data analytics tools, courtesy of your ACaaS vendor. These tools can help you establish traffic patterns and work out which amenities are underused and which might warrant expansion. Such insights can also help you better plan staffing levels for facilities and amenities such as bars, coffee shops, and other recreational features.

These insights allow you to reduce crowding, shorten lines, and provide better services for your members. In addition, getting these insights from your cloud based physical access control system enables you to back up your decisions for service and amenity changes with hard data without impacting the privacy of your members.

Easy Management for Multiple Facilities

If you have multiple sites, legacy access control systems often force you to give out multiple key cards. If you have members who move between sites regularly, this can become massively inconvenient.

With a cloud door access control solution, you can connect your sites so that the same card or mobile app will give access to the same facilities at the same level, making it easy for your members and staff to get where they need to go. Also, when you add a site, it is much easier to scale up the system and seamlessly add the new location to your access control and member information databases.

Reap All the Benefits of Cloud Based Door Entry Systems with Card Lock

Are you taking full advantage of the benefits of a cloud based system for your building? If you’re not, we can help. At Card Lock, we’ve spent over 75 years standing on the cutting edge of access control, from the very first and simplest key cards to magnetic stripe and proximity cards to today’s most advanced ACaaS systems. We can help you with cloud-based access solutions designed for private clubs and your specific needs.

Whether you are looking for a card-based system, a mobile system, or both, contact us today for a quote and find out what your club is missing out on.

Access Control, Cloud Technology, Security Solutions
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