Access control - Part 1 of 5

The global market for access control products reached $8Bn in 2019

Memoori predicts that M&A and integration with other sectors will drive the global access control market.

Memoori predicts that M&A and integration with other sectors will drive the global access control market.

Memoori’s Physical Security report for 2019 shows that the market for access control products reached over $8Bn in 2019, a growth of 8.2%. The company forecasts that by 2024 the world market will be worth over $12Bn, a CAGR of 8.48 percent.

However, the Covid-19 outbreak may have a serious impact on the industry’s sales revenues for 2020, which is not included in this report.

Demand has been driven by growth in IP networking products, access control as a service (ACaaS), biometric readers and identity access management. Integration with other physical security systems and building automation systems (BAS) is now a common requirement. More recently the research company suggests that there is a growing demand for access control systems to lead on building occupancy management systems. The latter has quickly become a complement to access control delivering valuable information on the location of staff and visitors and in the event of an emergency to rapidly clear the building.

There has been significant growth in ACaaS over 2019, probably as high as 20 percent, according to Memoori.

“Our Findings showed that all of the leading suppliers are bullish about the future and are now investing heavily in their cloud services and signing up third parties to deliver their software,” says James McHale, CEO at Memoori.

No technical barriers to growth

Access control unlike video surveillance does not consume much broadband and Memoori suggests that there are no technical problems that stand in the way of ACaaS other than the preference of end users to own and house their own system on premise. Many that are about to replace old systems are investigating the economics of either finding the CAPEX to invest in a new one or pay a monthly fee for ACaaS. The latter is an increasingly attractive option.

However, the access control sector is still a much smaller business than video surveillance and today is less competitive, additionally, so far, it has not had to cope with the same price pressures from Chinese manufacturers. This may change, as two major Chinese manufacturers are now active in developing their access control business in western markets and could further change the competitive landscape.

Move towards open standards

The industry has in the past been reluctant to adopt more open standards, but within the last couple of years, some of the leading suppliers are becoming more open. The researchers expect that industry development towards more openness will now gain momentum.

Further moves into IP networking and integration with biometrics, identity management and building occupancy management systems, should maintain the growth momentum that has built up over the last few years but it will ultimately require some standard to be adopted. If manufacturers prefer to continue to be insular and proprietary, it will not be good news for continued growth, as traditional proprietary systems mean limited options for customers and restricted possibilities for integration and scalability.

IoT integration

Winning new business in this global market is becoming more competitive and will require continual product development, which is absolutely essential in order to maintain growth. It is inevitable that as the market will gradually become more open, the heritage real estate business will loose much of its protection. New opportunities will also open up through IoT integrations, and this will require strategic alliances with other smart building companies.

Memoori analysts expect identity authentication to be an important factor in the growth of access control over the next ten years.

“We are now entering a new stage of development where IoT will redefine the concept of identity and access management (IAM), because it will become an integral part of every IoT solution,” states James McHale.

A change to come

The analysts suggest that this will take access control out of its silo within the security department and pass to those that set and manage corporate network policy.

James McHale states also that several access control and IAM companies have been involved in acquisitions during the last three years and he believes here are more to come. His prediction for the future access control business is based on the trend towards mergers and integration.

“In the long term: integrating the three security branches – video surveillance, access control and intruder alarm, including perimeter surveillance – may well bring about change in the routes to market for access control systems.”

The corona outbreak

James McHale is aware that the figures in Memoori’s report “The Physical Security Business 2019 to 2024” do not include the impact from the corona outbreak.

”Given the unpredictable nature of this crisis it is very difficult to assess exactly what it’s medium to long term impact will be,” he says.

“However this would seem to be an inevitable new cycle of recession that will reduce demand in 2020. Our current best estimate is that the 1st quarter of 2020 will show a decline of 5 percent, caused by reduced demand in Asia, and specifically China, which is the largest single market for Video Surveillance in the world”, states McHale.

“Further declines in the next 3 quarters will almost certainly follow. The forecast for 2021 will depend on how the measures to control Covid-19 take hold. If the pandemic shows that it is under control by September 2020 then world sales of Physical security equipment could return to growth by the 2nd quarter of 2021. After all, Covid-19 is a temporary and not a structural issue,” concludes James McHale.

Note: This editorial article has primarily been produced for the security trade magazine Detektor in collaboration with

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