Until the COVID-19 crisis, the typical process for selecting a new solution, such as visitor management, for a commercial building, office, or corporate campus followed a fairly straightforward process.
There were always three things involved: a need, an assessment process, and then a selection.
The time it took to make the selection fluctuated based upon construction schedules and budget allocations, with no real sense of urgency applied by some external pressure. That all changed with COVID-19. (click to tweet)
Due to the desire to not only reopen but do it safely, that same process we had before is being put to the test to perform with limited time, limited awareness of information, new players, and a ton of uncertainty of what to do.
Enter the pressure cooker
Along the same lines as Proxyclick's Return Ready framework, here are some ways you can approach the selection process to put you in a better position to make the best selection.
1. Designate someone on your team to own this
Health, Safety, and Experience now need to be a core competency of your business. (click to tweet)
Whether it is for business continuity, risk assessment, or employee experience, if the crisis has shown us anything, it has shown us the need for a higher level of attention to the systems we select and the extended value they can bring.
We suggest getting internal expertise by either hiring for a new position or leveling up someone on your team. There are plenty of resources now on the market to get educated about security, technology, and Health and Wellness by attending webinars, reading articles, or reaching out to different manufacturers or services.
2. Assess what you currently have
COVID-19 has radically changed the application-use case for access control and visitor management systems. The systems that are currently installed were likely not developed or chosen with the health use case in mind. If this is the case, you may need to allocate more budget than initially thought to upgrade or, in some cases, do a full rip and replace to deliver the value you desire.
It may sound daunting at first, but in the end, you probably were facing this reality at some point soon.
3. Appreciate the differences between security and security-theater
Incorporate both security and security-theater, as they are essential. Keep in mind not to confuse one for the other. (click to tweet)
We are starting to see some technologies, like thermal cameras, be marketed and sold as ‘security,’ when, in a lot of ways, they are more about the sense and perception of security (security theater) than delivering hardened and robust security.
I would suggest, after getting a more in-depth education on security measures and offerings, to blend both to not only provide safety but also communicate the sense of it.
4. If you are going to pick a solution and provider, I recommend doing an exercise where you think through "what could go wrong?"
We typically focus on all the benefits of a system or process but rarely think through what could go wrong. By thinking about what could go wrong, you not only find out whether your partner has done some critical thinking, but you also will uncover areas where you may expose yourself to additional risks.
5. Select a partner with a healthy ecosystem
Nowadays, with the speed of technology and the rate of changing needs of the market, you will rarely find one company on the market that can sufficiently deliver you 100% of everything you need.
Most reputable companies on the market have a robust list of partners that recognize the power in partnership. (click to tweet)
Having these partnerships is an excellent indicator that the company focuses on you as the end user, and also conveys the company has a level of self-awareness of their core business, and where partners can add a level of value to their products and services.
Let the pressure cook a bit
It needs to be said: There is no need to rush these decisions.
There are plenty of great resources and people out there willing and able to help guide you through this pressure cooker. Just raise your hand. You will be surprised to find; you are not alone.
Lee Odess is one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable Building Access experts in the world. He is the Founder of E+L+C, and former executive of Allegion, a billion-dollar manufacturer in the lock and access control industry. He also served as an Executive of Unikey, a start-up that pioneered the IoT/smart lock/smart physical access control industry and began his career as an Executive with the first cloud-based physical access control manufacturer, Brivo.
Currently, Lee is the founder of www.InsideAccessControl.com and www.InsideVisitorManagement.com, a media and blogging platform focused on the physical access control and visitor management industry, and Group337, a Growth Studio focused on business creation in the commercial real estate, proptech, and smart home markets for small to large companies in the security, access control, and IoT industry. He is not shy, so please don't hesitate to say hi!