Access control advances are transforming the way organizations safeguard assets and manage their operations. This shift signifies a departure from traditional security paradigms, where access control systems transcend their primary function of safeguarding physical spaces to deliver tangible returns that enhance organizational efficiency and productivity.

Amid this transformative tide, industry practitioners are reporting a surge in demand for innovative access control solutions, driven by technological advancements, heightened security concerns and the pervasive influence of digitization. Moreover, the advent of mobile credentials stands as a pivotal milestone in the access control narrative, reshaping the way users interact with secure spaces. As smartphones have become ubiquitous in daily life, the convergence of biometric authentication and cloud-based solutions amplifies the security and convenience of mobile credentials, paving the way for a transition away from traditional keycards and fobs.

Yet, amid the promise of innovation, challenges loom on the horizon, particularly with the disruptive entry of tech behemoths like Apple and Google into the access control arena. Their formidable resources and user-centric approach pose both opportunities and threats to traditional security integrators, underscoring the need for strategic adaptation in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

Ahead, we tap numerous industry specialists to explore and explain these and other topics, including key growth drivers, sector performance expectations for 2024 and top marketplace challenges.

Integrators Rate Their Confidence in the Access Control Market

SDM asked security systems integrators how they would rate the current state of the access control market, including on-premises and cloud/web-based/hosted.

Fifty-two percent of the respondents to the SDM 2024 Forecast (conducted in November 2023) rated their confidence in the access control market as very good or excellent, with 15 percent believing it was fair/poor. Supply chain recovery and a stronger than expected economy at the time survey was conducted may account for the slight upward tick in perception compared to the previous year.

Shifting Paradigms & Market Dynamics

To gauge the rising prominence of access control look no further than the Security Industry Association’s 2024 Security Megatrends, an annual report that analyzes the top 10 trends affecting the security industry and predicts how they will impact organizations in the coming year.

At No. 5, “Expansion and Evolution of Security’s ROI” is a new trend for 2024, which can be considered an evolution of the 2023 trend about the “Elimination of Industry Boundaries.” The gist: As security systems and solutions begin to yield returns beyond their primary security functions, their importance grows for both practitioners and business owners.

“The indispensability is becoming very visible in the access control sector, where access control vendors are seeing a rapid increase in integrations/partnerships with their platforms as building owners strive to unlock data insights out of their real estate,” SIA’s 2024 report states.

The report cites a few ROI examples specific to the evolving access control sector:

  • Providing building usage stats through access control data;
  • Validating employee working hours with badge entry scans;
  • Creating building efficiency by connecting lighting and HVAC controls with access control entry points and motion detection sensors.

Customers use their security platforms beyond just security management. They tie it up with managing several aspects of their day-to-day operations, such as managing visitors, vendors, traveling employees, etc. They also expect to gain valuable insights from the platform data.”
— Rajeev Dubey, Honeywell Commercial Security

Compared to last year, there has been a notable increase in demand for new technologies in 2024 as organizations are beginning to embrace disruption and innovation, explains Rajeev Dubey, senior product marketing manager, Honeywell Commercial Security, Charlotte, NC.

“This shift could be attributed to a growing awareness among end users of the advantages of integrating access control platforms, which can enhance productivity and drive better outcomes,” Dubey says. “Traditionally seen as the access management platform, access control is now evolving into an anchor integration platform driving an open ecosystem. Customers are becoming more aware of what these solutions can achieve to solve their business challenges.”

Mobile credentials
Mobile credentials are redefining access control, offering convenience and enhanced security. SOUTH_AGENCY/E+ VIA GETTY IMAGES

Thus, Dubey continues, end users are demanding more from their investments. They want the best of breed from different manufacturers and then they expect these selected platforms to “talk” to each other to deliver their desired outcomes.

“Customers use their security platforms beyond just security management. They tie it up with managing several aspects of their day-to-day operations, such as managing visitors, vendors, traveling employees, etc.,” he says. “They also expect to gain valuable insights from the platform data.”

While there are some regional differences in terms of market growth and adoption of new technologies, Marie-Jeanne Sauvé, product marketing manager, access control, Genetec, Montreal, describes the access control market as “thriving.” Sauvé cites market research that forecasts the global sector growing from $10.4 billion in 2024 to $15.2 billion by 2029, due to technological advancements, increased security concerns, the need for regulatory compliance, and the shift toward cloud-based solutions.


The expected CAGR of the global ACaaS market between 2021 ($700 million) and 2026 ($1.4 billion).

“Modernizing access control will remain a top priority for the rest of 2024. In the 2024 Genetec State of Physical Security report, access control was the number one technology end users are planning to invest in (36 percent of respondents),” she says.

Sauvé describes a marketplace that overall is becoming more software-centric, with end users investing in platforms that do more than just unlock or lock doors. Customers desire the flexibility to choose a system that will grow and evolve with their needs. This can be achieved with open architecture systems that allow end users to choose the technology that works best for them at every level.

“We’re also seeing more innovation in the access control space,” Sauvé continues. “From SaaS initiatives to systems available on mobile apps and the web, the market is evolving at a rapid pace, Moreover, there’s a notable trend toward reducing friction for installers and administrators. Streamlined installation processes and simplified maintenance procedures are becoming standard, empowering users to implement and manage access control systems with ease.”

To say that developments in the access control market are fluid in 2024 would be an understatement, comments Louis Boulgarides, president and CEO, Ollivier Managed Security, Los Angeles, who is featured on this month’s cover. Customers are wanting to move to the cloud at an increasing velocity and this continues to put pressure on large legacy on-premise access control systems, he explains.

“In the multitenant commercial real estate market where we focus a great deal of our energy, tenant self-administration, tenants being able to use their own cards on the sites, mobile credentials and visitor management are driving the conversation,” he says.

“Commercial real estate companies are bending over backwards to retain and attract new tenants and they are needing access control and visitor management system that provide the flexibility and usability to accommodate these requests,” Boulgarides continues. “In my opinion, this migration is similar to the analog to IP migration on the video side of the business.”

Majority Expect Revenue From Access Control to Increase

SDM asked, “How do you expect revenue from access control systems, including on-premises and cloud/web-based/hosted systems, to change in the next year?”

Of those surveyed for SDM’s Industry Forecast, 64 percent expect revenue from access control systems (on-premise and cloud-based) to increase in 2024 — an 8 percentage point jump from the previous year. Thirty-four percent expect it to remain the same, and 2 percent expect revenue to decrease.

Modernizing access control will remain a top priority for the rest of 2024. In the 2024 Genetec State of Physical Security report, access control was the number one technology end users are planning to invest in (36 percent of respondents).”
— Marie-Jeanne Sauvé, Genetec

Market Expectations in 2024 & Beyond

Throughout 2024 and in the near term, Tina D’Agostin, CEO of Cupertino, CA-based Alcatraz AI, expects the access control market to experience significant growth. This will be evident through a transformative shift toward advanced technology solutions like biometrics, she explains, as well as a focus on frictionless environments that champion privacy and security.

“Recently, enterprises have shown an increasing recognition and desire to update their access control systems, many of which have remained unchanged over the course of the past 60 years,” D’Agostin says. “As technology and threats both continue to advance and evolve, companies are putting more focus than ever on enhancing and upgrading their security measures to create frictionless, safe environments for employees and visitors.”

D’Agostin suggests the trend for upgrading access control solutions lends to the adoption of biometric authentication technologies, particularly facial recognition.

“The integration of such advanced access solutions negates the need for traditional access methods like keycards or PINs, all while improving security measures and enhancing user convenience and efficiency,” she says. “These advanced technologies also address the growing focus on safeguarding individuals’ biometric data — they feature and prioritize advancements in encryption and data anonymization techniques.”

HID released the 2024 installment of its annual “State of Security and Identity” industry report in March with the following statement: “Security is never a static proposition.”

“The access control market entered 2024 in the same evolutionary state as it exited 2023,” says Matt Winn, vice president, communications, HID, Austin, Texas. “Moving through 2024, the industry continues to examine and modify its security approaches as attack surfaces broaden and bad actors develop new schemes to test the resilience of both cyber and physical security.”

Among expected drivers for the company in 2024 and the near term, Winn also points to biometrics. In this year’s HID survey, 39 percent of installers and integrators said some of their customers are using fingerprint or palm print, and 30 percent said some are using facial recognition, compared to the 26 percent of 2023 survey respondents who said they were using some type of contact or contactless biometrics.

SDM sought insights from industry sources on what they consider to be the foremost challenges within the access control sector. Among prevalent headwinds is the transition to cloud solutions that will enable organizations to manage identity information as they move to zero trust architectures.

“According to more than 66 percent of our 2024 [State of Security and Identity] survey respondents, the roadblocks to deploying cloud-based identity management are primarily inadequate budget and the perception that there will be no significant ROI,” says Matt Winn of HID.

The remaining third of respondents, however, believe the rise of cloud-based authentication or identity management delivered as a subscription service is an important trend. Nearly half of end-user respondents in HID’s survey are moving in this direction, with 24 percent currently using cloud-based identity management and another 24 percent in the process of implementing such systems.

“When these solutions are delivered as-a-service (a centralized platform for identity data, user authentication and resource-access authorization), they dovetail with both the shift toward zero trust security strategies and increasing adoption of mobile access technologies,” Winn says.

As the market continues to evolve, Tina D’Agostin of Alcatraz AI foresees the dual concerns over sluggish cloud adoption and the critical need for robust biometric privacy measures as key challenges for the near future.

“Navigating these challenges is critical as cloud technologies continue to transform industries. Hesitations around data privacy could hinder widespread adoption,” she says.

At the same time, market players will need to prioritize comprehensive privacy frameworks with the surge of biometrics, D’Agostin continues.

Despite barriers like high costs to replace existing systems, integration with legacy systems and management challenges, the advantages of modern solutions are helping to overcome these obstacles and provide a measurable return on investment, according to Rob Druktenis of Axis Communications.

“Overall budget and labor costs can be the reason why a project is won or lost, making it vital for integrators to be able to smoothly navigate how the complexity of systems, installation and programming impacts the costs,” he says. “Ultimately integrators need to offer and efficiently install solutions that are flexible and robust in features.”

Richard Goldsobel of Napco Security Technologies cites burdens faced by installing security contractors in navigating the increasing demand for expertise in explaining product offerings, implementing best practices and managing the intricacies of various IT environments.

“More and more, I find myself being asked to join calls with our dealers to explain what our offerings are and what solutions we have and how an end-user organization can go about making use of those and best practices and how to implement all those good things,” Goldsobel says. “It is very difficult for the dealer right now. It’s certainly not easy, but I’d say navigating that IT environment, and then both to make the sale and then once you’ve got the sale, getting your tech’s onsite and managing software, on-premise vs. if it’s a cloud or an embedded solution.”

In 2024 and the near term, Rajeev Dubey of Honeywell Commercial Security says the top access market challenges are likely to revolve around businesses’ adoption of the newer technologies into the enterprise applications.

“The SMB to SME markets have responded faster to the newer cloud, mobile, wireless technologies for lower TCO and easier day-to-day management,” he says. “Rightly so, the enterprise segment is taking a cautious approach, vetting the newer techs into their environment first.”

The manufacturers will also need to understand the technologies better within the context of solving customer problems, Dubey suggests.

“An example would be to assess the impact of NFC/Apple Wallet adoption over BLE-based mobile credentials that gained early popularity,” he says. “Another such example would be to understand and provide useful insights to an enterprise-level customer with the data consumption within the customers’ environments.”

Building upon trends observed in recent years, 2024 underscores a heightened emphasis on data privacy and compliance. This shift is driven by the escalating frequency of data breaches and heightened regulatory scrutiny. Addressing privacy concerns without compromising security demands for various applications is also presenting challenges, including even with door hardware deployments.

“Our restroom systems cannot use video due to privacy concerns but require lock and unlock control by the general public with emergency call and touchless activation,” says David Ito, project manager, Camden Door Controls, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. “We’ve been asked to add automation to these systems with sensors and provide an easy upgrade solution to existing restrooms, which will require wireless power technologies.”

While it is a given the access control market is evolving rapidly, Marie-Jeanne Sauvé of Genetec expresses the reality is that a lot of businesses have legacy or outdated systems that are not cybersecure.

“These businesses are at risk of cyberattacks. They will need to modernize their systems to benefit from the cloud and other new technologies,” she says. “Furthermore, the increasing number of compliance requirements and regulations adds another layer of complexity. Businesses must ensure compliance with these regulations, which often can’t be achieved with outdated legacy systems.”

“The momentum continues to build as 8 percent of 2024 end-user respondents plan to test or implement some form of biometrics in the next year and 22 percent plan to do so in the next three to five years,” Winn says.

HID continues to see the cloud powering security implementations efficiently across both physical and logical footprints, as it did in 2023, Winn explains. This will elevate the value of data while facilitating servitization to drive specific business outcomes.

“Cloud-based solutions such as Identity as a Service (IDaaS) will provide a centralized platform for identity data, user authentication and resource-access authorization, dovetailing nicely with the shift toward zero trust security strategies that are driving multifactor authentication (MFA) adoption, and the increasing adoption of mobile access technologies,” he adds.

When developing new hardware, Axis Communications, Chelmsford, MA, is focused on designing scalable solutions — optimal for both small and large installations — to meet the changing needs of the industry, says Rob Druktenis, program manager, access control. The aim is to offer a fully unified solution in a single pane of glass, combining video and access control in one.

“We want to make it easy for both the systems integrator to install the solution and the customer to use and manage the system,” Druktenis says. “In this same solution, we also want to give customers the opportunity to integrate other technologies like IP intercoms, audio and access control-focused analytics, among other technologies.”

With unified solutions in high demand, market expectations anticipate continued growth, he adds. Another change Axis expects to see is a shift from on-premise to cloud-based software. While on-premise software is still popular and preferred today, cloud-based software is growing in popularity.

access control and video surveillance
Many buildings have some form of access control and video surveillance to protect occupants and assets. Integrating these two systems puts both security measures on one platform and offers benefits such as streamlining management. SIMONKR/E+ VIA GETTY IMAGES

“Some of the main reasons for selecting a cloud-based solution are a lower total cost of ownership, scalability, simplified remote management, improved security, open platform for integrations and automatic updates or upgrades,” Druktenis says.

Jake Leichtling, director of product management, access control, Verkada, San Mateo, CA, notes that cloud-based access control systems are driving market growth by offering more secure, scalable and interoperable solutions. “The cloud unlocks new value for organizations by creating more long-term value,” he says, “whether it’s the addition of new features over time or the ability to adopt high-compute use cases, including largescale AI models.”

In order to stay competitive in the landscape moving into 2024, Leichtling suggests it will be important for companies to integrate their access control products on a cloud platform with other security solutions, such as video cameras, intercoms, or alarms for more holistic security system management.

“This shift towards the cloud is also tied to a bigger conversation in the broader physical security industry: the transition from a reactive to a proactive posture,” he adds. “With the ability to remotely monitor or set up real-time alerts, security leaders can anticipate a threat before it happens or respond to it in real-time.” 

The key influencer at MVP Security Systems, Brea, CA, is to play on the front end of technology, new and emerging trends and the applications thereof that corporate security practitioners favor, want and demand, explains the integration firm’s CEO and Founder Daniel Islas.

“Traditionally, video has moved at a faster pace over access control in terms of technological advancements, but we see that changing to where identity management is shared not only with visual — video — but actual — who you are, what you know, what you have,” Islas says. “And access control provides that via biometrics, pin codes and credentials, operating independently or integrated together for a layered holistic solution.”

Commercial real estate companies are bending over backwards to retain and attract new tenants and they are needing access control and visitor management system that provide the flexibility and usability to accommodate these requests. In my opinion, this migration is similar to the analog to IP migration on the video side of the business.”
— Louis Boulgarides, Ollivier Managed Security

Another important driver in 2024 and moving forward is simplicity in design, deployment and maintenance, Islas adds. “Today’s access technologies empower both end users to realize their needs and integrators to provision and maintain these systems, often remotely without the need to dispatch technicians.”

Integrations continue to drive a good chunk of the market, comments Richard Goldsobel, vice president, access control products, Napco Security Technologies, Amityville, NY. “There’s some of the standard cookie cutter stuff; access controls have become so well known to end users. But for those customers who know they need a solution, and they’re out there looking for a good solution, it’s video integration, visitor management integration and video intercom integration.”

Goldsobel adds, “With our API, third-party companies integrate to us with all sorts of things, including elevator integration. All sorts of those ancillary components are definitely continuing to drive the market — biometrics included.”

Mike Taylor, vice president of global sales, Identiv, Santa Ana, CA, says the company anticipates the access control market will grow at a steady pace in 2024, roughly 6 percent year-over-year. The near term might experience an even higher growth rate due to pent-up federal demand and newly approved budgets, likely driving sales above typical levels.

“Our projections also include a rise in card reader demand, particularly with custom keys, as well as integrations of access control with video solutions and AI tools, complemented by enhanced cybersecurity measures,” he says.

Key factors influencing this year’s market include heightened concerns over system security breaches, demonstrated by hackers using sophisticated techniques to compromise system integrity, Taylor explains. The company’s growth this year is fueled by several factors: the introduction of new products, the expansion of its sales teams, and significant strides in the company’s FedRamp marketplace offerings.

Managed Access Control Tops the Service-Based Offerings

SDM asked, “Which of the following managed/cloud-based services does your company currently offer/sell/install?” and “Which of the following does you company plan to offer in the next 12 months?”

Seventy-five percent of security professionals currently offer managed access control systems, a 10 percentage point jump from the 2023 survey. ACaaS is currently offered by 66 percent of those responding, a 14 point percentage improvement from the previous year. Among companies that offer managed/cloud-based services, managed access control is the top service currently offered, followed by Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS), ACaaS, remote video monitoring and Software as a Service (SaaS).

“We are also focusing on cloud-based solutions, simplifying complex hardware and software setups, and launching a groundbreaking three-factor authentication device specifically for the federal market,” he says.

Several key access market drivers are anticipated for Suprema America, Lake Mary, FL, in 2024, according to Bob McKee, president. First, the transition from traditional RFID at the edge to biometrics represents a significant shift. Overcoming barriers such as privacy concerns, performance speed and price will be pivotal in driving widespread adoption of biometrics, aligning with the company’s focus on innovative solutions, he explains.

“Additionally, the integration of AI algorithms into biometrics is revolutionizing the access control industry,” McKee says. “This advancement creates a faster capture, more secure transactions and an enhanced user experience, akin to the seamless biometric experiences users encounter on their smartphones. Also, regulatory compliance requirements — particularly in sectors like schools, corporate security and government — will continue to drive demand for our solutions.”

Roland Fournier, vice president of product management, AMAG Technology, Hawthorne, CA, anticipates the access control market will remain robust in 2024 as new technologies and concepts are adopted, leading to improved security and convenience. However, he says, it is no secret that these are challenging times.

“The new post-pandemic norm has brought about hybrid work environments where people are not in the office daily, but are not fully remote either,” he explains. “This creates several challenges that security teams must address to meet the new reality. Fortunately, technology is also advancing, making better automation possible. Finally, the age of AI is here, which presents both opportunities and risks to security teams.”

Among current market drivers for AMAG, Fournier names visitor management. And while not a new concept, it is gaining more traction due to the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work environments. “Digital visitor management systems are in high demand now more than ever and having tight integration with access control software provides better security and user experience for visitors,” he says.


of installers and integrators said their customers are using fingerprint or palm print, and 30% said they’re using facial recognition.

Physical identity and access management (PIAM) and cloud-based services are also important market drivers. The current economic pressures are making it necessary to do more with less, and both PIAM and cloud-based services are addressing this issue, Fournier says.

“PIAMs automate access control workflows, increasing security through concepts like least privileges and audits while improving efficiency for security teams,” he adds. “Cloud-based services move the infrastructure outside of the organization, reducing the workload on IT teams for maintenance, security and technical support.”

Steve Van Till, CEO of Brivo, Bethesda, MD, expresses quite a few factors are contributing to robust access control market growth so far this year. These include decreased concerns over interest rates and the economy, a broader recognition of access control’s business value and amenities, increased visibility from tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon entering the sector, and a surge in Proptech solutions built on access control in the wake of $50 billion to $100 billion in venture funding over the past 5+ years.

Brivo itself is driven by growth in three distinct market segments: enterprise, multifamily and general commercial applications.

Enterprise growth is fueled by the long-delayed adoption of cloud technology across integrator and end-user buyer demographics. Multifamily growth is underpinned by an industry-wide shift from mechanical solutions (i.e., lock and key) to digital solutions (smart locks) and the ability to integrate tenant units and base building access control into a single platform. The general commercial segment is attracted by mobile platforms and the improvements in their usability and user experience over previous generations of technology.

“My expectations for the near term are the same as they are for the long term,” Van Till says. “Namely, the transition from on-premise to cloud will continue not only for new systems, but for the vast legacy population that will undergo conversions and upgrades as those pre-cloud systems age out.”

Mobile Credentials Expected to Revolutionize Access

The adoption of mobile credentials stands out as a defining trend reshaping the industry. Providing users with the convenience of accessing secure spaces using their smartphones, this innovation represents a significant shift away from traditional keycards and fobs.

Mobile credentials are increasingly embraced across diverse sectors such as hospitality, universities, healthcare and corporate environments, driven by their ability to bolster security and streamline operations. In hospitality, they elevate guest experiences by seamlessly granting access to rooms and amenities. Healthcare facilities leverage mobile credentials to safeguard patient records and restricted areas while maintaining compliance. Within corporate environments, they offer flexible and frictionless access to office buildings and digital resources. Yet, industries like government and finance encounter hurdles due to stringent regulations, while specialized sectors such as manufacturing require tailored solutions to address unique operational needs for full mobile credential adoption.

One of the driving factors behind the rising adoption of mobile credentials is the seamless integration they offer with existing infrastructure.

“Mobile credentials are a hot topic for our sales department,” says Tony Diodato, founder and chief technology officer, Cypress Integration Solutions, Lapeer, MI. “If you forget your badge, you ask for a temp replacement. If you forget your phone, you go back home and get it. Integrating mobile credential readers into legacy systems is one of our top initiatives for 2024.”

Advancements in technology are playing a pivotal role in fueling the uptake of mobile credentials. With smartphones becoming ubiquitous in daily life, leveraging these devices as access keys aligns with the growing trend toward digitization and connectivity. By example, in HID’s 2024 survey, 72 percent of respondents called out mobile identity as a Top 3 trend.

“At a more granular level, MFA adoption is now widespread and mobile identities continued to gain traction in security applications,” HID’s Winn says. “Organizations also are steadily upgrading legacy hardware in favor of multi-tech readers that can handle both plastic and mobile device-based credentials. These two trends are intertwined as mobile devices are increasingly used to support MFA and other use cases across the network security landscape.”

Access Control Systems Rank No. 2 Among the Most Commonly Offered Security Product

SDM asked, “Which products and services do you currently offer or plan on offering?”

Access control systems rank second in product/service offerings — up from the third position last year — behind only video surveillance.

Biometric authentication features embedded in smartphones, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, bolster the security of mobile credentials, offering a robust alternative to traditional methods. Also, the scalability of cloud-based access control solutions complement the deployment of mobile credentials. By leveraging the power of the cloud, organizations can centrally manage and update access permissions in real-time, streamlining administrative processes and ensuring seamless access for authorized users.

It’s important to note, however, that the increasing use of mobile access technologies is not eliminating physical identity cards.

“Our 2024 survey showed that these cards are still deemed necessary in sectors where there is a high degree of in-person interaction or where there are security requirements for visibly matching the individual to a verifiable physical credential,” Winn explains.

biometrics in access control
The rising integration of biometrics in access control systems marks a significant shift toward heightened security and seamless user authentication. Facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and other biometric technologies offer enhanced access management and identity verification. EVGENIYSHKOLENKO/ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Given the rise of mobile credentials and strong indicators of continued market growth, Druktenis says Axis Communications is looking to provide hybrid solutions that combine mobile and physical credentials in the same system.

“This will allow customers to transition away from physical credentials over time, taking advantage of the convenience, security, flexibility and cost savings mobile credentials offer on their own timeline,” he says.

Druktenis does suggest mobile credentials are growing quickly in popularity and are expected to surpass smart cards in the next few years.

“Currently, mobile credentials are typically offered in addition to, rather than as a direct replacement for other forms of credentials,” he adds. “However, with the increasing demand for touchless access control, convenience and remote management of credentials, we could see that change.”

Despite the benefits of mobile credential adoption, several challenges may arise during deployment and implementation. One such factor is compatibility issues with existing access control systems. While integrating mobile credential readers into legacy systems offers tremendous potential, ensuring seamless interoperability can be complex, requiring careful planning and possibly additional investment in system upgrades or retrofits.

“I think we are very close on mobile credentials moving from concept to reality on a largescale,” Boulgarides says.

“Obviously the cloud migration will play a big role, and the last space I think that still needs to be addressed is visitor management The fact that we are being asked to cut QR code readers into buildings to accommodate visitor management applications is unbelievable to me. Commercial real estate customers want an easy way for visitors to be provided access via mobile device, and at this time, QR codes seem to be the only answer. Where are my readers that read everything, including QR codes?”

Fournier describes access control as an established market that has evolved beyond the basic aspects of access, credentials and alarm management. The focus, he says, has now shifted to next-gen concepts such as mobile credentials that include both app and wallet-based credentials.

“Now, with the introduction of NFC wallet credentials, we have everything needed to drive the adoption of mobile credentials,” he says. “Apple, Google and Samsung are bringing the convenience of using your mobile phone to access control. The user experience, honed by decades of consumer usage, along with a proven security platform that protects privacy, data and financial payments will offer the next level of convenience and security and drive innovation into the industry.”

Behemoth Tech Company Disruption Cometh

The entry of large tech companies like Apple and Google into the mobile credential market does pose potential challenges for traditional security integrators. These tech giants bring with them extensive resources, established brand recognition and expansive user bases, which can disrupt traditional market dynamics and reshape industry landscapes. Include here Amazon One, a biometrics-enabled identity service that allows users to enter, identify and pay with their palms at participating locations. IT and security administrators can install the Amazon One devices and manage users, devices and software updates in the AWS Management Console.

The integration of mobile credentials into existing access control systems threatens to shift the balance of power within the industry. Consider the ecosystem integration capabilities Apple and Google possess to offer end-to-end solutions that encompass both hardware and software components. This comprehensive approach could potentially marginalize traditional security integrators who primarily focus on system installation and integration services. Additionally, tech companies’ direct-to-consumer approach and emphasis on user experience may bypass traditional distribution channels, further challenging the role of security integrators in the value chain.


The U.S. access control market size is estimated to be $3.6 billion in 2024 and forecast to reach $4.5 BILLION by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 4.3%.

The potential for such widespread disruption is encapsulated in an entirely new trend — “Impact of the Megatech Companies” — which debuted on SIA’s 2024 Megatrends report at No. 7. The massive user bases of these megatech companies, coupled with their capability to swiftly bring hardware and cloud solutions to market, often incorporating advanced AI technology, empowers them to create significant disruption in various industries.

In SIA’s report, Eric Yunag, vice president of innovation, Convergint, Schaumburg, IL, describes it this way: “The amount of disruption potential is astounding. Apple and Google will shake the core of the access control industry in the very near future. They can become the default credential in the next 18 months.”

And yet it’s important to acknowledge traditional security integrators also possess unique strengths and expertise that can differentiate them from tech companies. Their deep understanding of security requirements, industry-specific knowledge and personalized service offerings can provide value beyond what large tech companies may offer.

By leveraging their specialized skills and cultivating strategic partnerships with tech companies, traditional security integrators can position themselves to thrive in a rapidly evolving market landscape.

“It is an exciting time for the access control market. Just about every corporate client understands the value of access control and sees it now more so as an investment rather than a necessary expense,” expresses MVP’s Islas. “With cloud, AI, mobile credentialization, APIs and much more, technology is moving fast and pushing the envelope. The landscape is changing and will do so more in years to come. There will be winners and losers, both manufacturers and integrators.”