Electronic access control systems in South Africa have been gaining prominence in the last decade, says research house Frost & Sullivan.
It adds the success of electronic access control systems in SA has been derived from the sophistication and rugged security they offer. Furthermore, flexibility in their deployment offers customers infinite reconfiguring options for various scenarios, the think-tank adds.
Frost & Sullivan says it estimates the SA market for access control earned revenues of $29.9 million (R223 million) in 2008 at an annual growth rate of 6.3% The market revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% from 2008 to 2015, to reach R365.5 million ($49.0 million). The end user sectors covered in this research are mining, financial services, manufacturing, retail and public.
“The readiness to adopt technology to maintain security, both by the public sector as well as private corporations, is a positive trend,” says Frost & Sullivan analyst Sostina Shiri. “This has established the credibility of technologies such as smart cards and biometrics in providing the most foolproof authenticating mechanisms available in the global security space.”
There is a high level of integration of access control, not only with other security systems, but also with systems such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), building management systems and lighting equipment. Stand-alone systems are gradually becoming outdated, as most customers are slowly migrating to integrated systems.
However, just as in any other technology market, the South African access control systems market is threatened by the influx of low-cost Chinese products. These are rarely reliable and have risky return on investment (ROI). Such products affect the credibility of the respective technologies among the users who adopt them.
“Existing investments in legacy systems are deterring organisations from upgrading their systems before the end of the lifetime of such systems,” explains Shiri. “However, with the advent of newer technologies, backward compatibility with legacy systems becomes a necessity.”
This is pivotal in reducing costs for customers. In the case of new installations, mutual compatibility of the different access control systems that are installed as multiple layers is critical for the efficient functioning of the system.
“Technological innovation results in better functions, operational improvements, and the availability of innovative features, making the products more attractive for end users,” concludes Shiri. “End users are becoming increasingly aware of the various benefits and cost efficiencies associated with the use of new technologies.”