The 2020s will be a wireless decade. From headphones to hoovers, consumers reap the benefits when they cut the cables. In electronic access control, these benefits include improved cost-efficiency and flexibility, giving facility managers greater control over who should have access, where and when.

A new report — from IFSEC Global, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions and analysts Omdia — reveals fresh market data from a survey of 400 security professionals, across Europe and farther afield. Respondents included end-users, installers, smart building integrators and consultants serving corporations and small- to medium-sized organizations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors.

Some key findings: wireless, mobile, sustainability

Electronic access control is becoming a wireless technology: The Report finds increased adoption of wireless locks and systems. Over a third (37%) of end-users deploy wireless locks within their access solution. The corresponding 2014 datapoint was 23%.

The report identifies the drivers for rapid adoption of mobile access technologies. Here, convenience is king — for system users and facility managers. “Nearly half (47%) agreed that mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time,” notes the Report.

It also highlights the importance of sustainability to procurement. Nine respondents in 10 suggest sustainability will have an impact on their technology choices in the next five years. Over a third say sustainability will impact “to a great extent.” Access control has an effect in two main ways: wireless technology and energy efficiency. Over half of respondents placed cable-free installation and operation at the top of a list of ways access control can contribute to sustainability goals.

Right across the access control ecosystem in 2021, scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency and convenience are major factors

Russell Wagstaff, Platform Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA

The 2021 Wireless Access Control Report also covers cloud management, system integration, cyber-security, lock durability and more.