The choice between retrofitting access solutions and replacing your existing physical access control system (PACS) depends on a variety of factors, including the current state of your system, your budget, and your security needs.
Retrofitting access control solutions
Before we begin, let’s understand what is retrofitting access solutions. Retrofitting access solutions involves adding new components to an existing access control system to improve its functionality and security. This is often a more cost-effective option for organizations that already have a functional access control system in place and simply want to upgrade it. For example, retrofitting with a new software solution to add new features or to make the system more user-friendly. Retrofitting is also a good choice for organizations that are satisfied with their existing infrastructure and want to avoid the hassle and expense of a complete system replacement.
Replacing the existing access control system
On the other hand, replacing an existing access control system can provide a complete overhaul of the security infrastructure, providing a more modern, integrated, and secure system. This is often a good choice for organizations that have an outdated or unreliable system, have a high rate of malfunctions, are no longer supported by the manufacturer, or that are looking to implement a new security solution from scratch. A complete replacement also offers the opportunity to standardize the access control system across multiple locations, streamline security procedures, and take advantage of the latest technology and features.
It’s important to consider the long-term benefits and costs of each option to determine the best course of action.
Key difference between retrofitting and replacing existing PACS
Retrofit existing PACS
PACS can be upgraded at an affordable cost
The wires have to be ripped off and replaced with a completely new product because of which the cost is on the higher side
Upgraded with less or no down time
Systems need a down time until the installation is complete
Can be self-installed, because of which cost of installation is saved
Installation needs access control system integrators
Why should you consider retrofitting access solutions?
There are a few reasons why you should consider retrofitting your access control solutions instead of replacing them.
Updating outdated technology
Over time, security systems can become outdated and may not provide the level of protection you need. Retrofitting with modern technology can improve the security of your building and provide peace of mind.
You keep your existing systems
If your access control systems are working fine and your only objective is to upgrade with other functionalities such as time clocking, mobile access, etc. then you should opt for retrofit solutions. Retrofitting allows you to keep your existing infrastructure in place. It can be helpful if you need more time to switch to a new system.
Meeting regulatory requirements
Certain buildings may need to comply with regulations such as accessibility codes, fire codes, or safety codes. Retrofitting with the necessary equipment can ensure that your building meets these.
Retrofitting is a more affordable option in most cases. It can also be a good option when dealing with tight deadlines. It can be a more efficient way to update your access control system, and it doesn’t require as much disruption to your business.
What is the typical retrofit process?
Replacing an entire system is a costly and time-consuming process. It can also disrupt day-to-day operations and cause lengthy downtime. So, if a system isn’t completely broken, many businesses choose to retrofit instead of replacing.
Step 1 – Assessment: The typical retrofit process begins with an assessment of the current system. This assessment includes reviewing the existing hardware, software, and infrastructure.
Step 2 – Planning: Once the assessment is complete, the team can develop a plan for the retrofit.
Step 3 – Implementation: The next step is to implement the plan. This includes installing new hardware, upgrading software, and migrating data.
Step 4 – Configure & Test: The team will also configure and test the new system to ensure it works correctly.
Step 5 – Walkthrough: Once everything is in place, they’ll do a final walkthrough to make sure everything is up and running as it should be.
What are the benefits of retrofit access solutions?
When upgrading or replacing your access control system, the decision isn’t always black and white. In some cases, retrofitting — or modifying an existing system — may be the best option. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of retrofitting access solutions:
Retrofitting is often more cost-effective than replacement. You can use the existing hardware and infrastructure, reducing installation costs.
Retrofit solutions can enhance the security of an existing building by adding modern technology, such as biometric systems and mobile access, to improve access control.
Retrofitting allows you to keep the same system users and passwords. And, of course, it eliminates the need to retrain staff or reset passwords. It also eliminates downtime from system shutdowns and eliminates the need to reissue cards or badges.
Retrofits can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems. In other words, it minimizes disruption and ensures a smooth transition.
Retrofit access solutions can make access to a building more convenient by allowing for remote control and monitoring, as well as integrating with other systems, such as IT and HR systems.
When should you consider replacing your access solutions?
If your current access system shows signs of wear and tear or has become outdated due to changing technology or security needs, consider replacing it.
Access control systems must keep up with the latest technologies in today’s digital world. If you still rely on old mechanical locks and basic codes, consider something more robust, such as biometric authentication or key cards. This will give you higher security and flexibility for your business needs.
Another factor to consider when deciding whether or not to replace your current system is cost. If upgrading or retrofitting your system is more expensive than replacing it, it might make sense to go for a complete replacement.
However, retrofitting can be a good alternative if budget is an issue, as you can customize the best solution without breaking the bank.
What are the benefits of replacing your PACS?
One significant benefit of replacing your access solutions is that you can choose from a broader range of solutions based on your organization’s needs.
You can switch to new technologies like biometrics and contactless credentials. These are more secure and easier to use than traditional access control systems. You can also use software-based management solutions that make managing your access control systems easier.
Furthermore, replacing access solutions allows you to switch or upgrade easily as technology evolves. This way, your access system keeps up with the newest trends in the market and gives you a competitive edge.
On a more practical note, replacing the whole system ensures that all components are in sync, reducing the risk of malfunctions and maintaining a strong security posture for organizations.
When it comes to enhancing security, making the right call is essential. The best option will depend on the specific requirements and needs of the organization. A thorough evaluation of the existing system, an assessment of future needs, and a cost-benefit analysis are all important steps in making an informed decision.