The access control landscape is witnessing a transformative revolution. The longstanding reign of proprietary systems is being challenged by a renewed focus on openness and interoperability. One emerging trend in the industry is a rising interest among access control hardware manufacturers and solution providers towards standardizing access and opening up their systems to broader interoperability. However, there remains a subtle resistance against this shift. Let’s have a closer look at the reasons. 

Resistance to Change: A Barrier to Growth

This resistance is deeply rooted in the fear of embracing interoperable credential systems, with concerns revolving around customer retention. They would rather keep their customers tied to their own proprietary systems. As they see the move towards open systems as a possible threat to their customer base. This approach, while surprising, highlights a crucial issue that needs collective attention and resolution in the industry.

This hesitancy towards embracing openness in the access control world is not just misguided, but also counterproductive in the long run. While keeping customers locked within proprietary systems might offer temporary advantages, it stunts the long-term evolution and growth of the industry. It’s a restrictive strategy, akin to a bird trapped in a cage, unable to spread its wings and soar.

Opportunities, Not Threats

Openness and interoperability in access control should not be seen as threats—but rather as opportunities. They are the way for more adaptable, versatile, and user-friendly systems. Empowering the industry to better meet the ever-evolving needs of customers. Fostering relationships based on trust and satisfaction, rather than restrictions and dependencies.

Interoperability doesn’t mean losing uniqueness. Every company can retain its individuality and competitive edge while also contributing to and benefiting from a larger, diverse ecosystem. Seeing access control as an added value to other solutions does exactly that.

The Power of Openness

Choosing openness not only enables better functionality for customers, but also sets a new industry standard. Showcasing readiness to adapt, innovate, and grow collectively. It underlines the industry’s commitment to customers’ freedom, their right to choose and their need for systems that can keep pace with their changing needs.

Leading smart access solution providers, such as Tapkey, passionately advocates this openness and interoperability. We believe that driving openness in the access control industry can create a future that benefits everyone involved—manufacturers, solution providers, and most importantly, customers. That is why we have an active role in the making of the OSS Smart Access Standard.

The industry should resist the temptation to fall back on outdated practices. Instead, it should seize the opportunities that openness offers. By working together, the access control industry can become not only more innovative and responsive but also more inclusive and customer-centric. After all, the primary purpose of access control should be to enable freedom, not to erect barriers.

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