Wednesday, 16 January 2013

5 reasons why Governments will adopt Digital Keys  

In this current economic climate of fiscal cliffs, austerity measures, responsible Government budgeting and cutbacks, now seems like a better time than ever for Governments to adopt digital keys. By adopting digital keys, Governments stand to save tens of millions of dollars a year in the following 5 ways.

5. With digital keys Governments will save millions a year in lock replacements and locksmith costs for their public housing stock.

Governments own a lot of houses. Some State Governments in Australia for example, own more than 50,000 public housing properties. When a tenancy ends in a State Government public housing, they change the locks. This cost to change a lock is around $20-$40 for the lock itself, and around $100-$200 for a worker/locksmith to come out and install a new lock. With digital keys you never have to replace the locks. Keys can be set to work for the duration of the lease, and if a tenant leaves the lease early, then the key is simply revoked electronically and remotely online. With the cost for digital key locks coming down to less than a couple hundred dollars each, and with the installation for some digital key lock models taking only a few minutes, a digital keys lock can be installed for around the same price as a normal lock. And it will pay for itself after one or two tenancies end.

A digital keys access control system 

4. With digital keys Governments can easily make arrangements for contractors, social workers, maintenance workers, inspectors, youth workers etc to access properties (and save millions of dollars a year)

We all know that old buildings require ongoing repairs and maintenance. Whether they are old state government houses, schools, libraries, public toilets or offices, or any Government building really, then someone is going to have to come to those properties from time to time to carry out repairs.
Digital keys make arrangements and access to properties so much easier. Lets look at an example - so the office toilet piping needs to be dug up and repaired. You don’t want the noise of a plumber jackhammering away for 6 hours in the office, and everything else that goes with digging up the toilet pipes. Fine, so someone in the office makes the arrangements for the plumber in to come in at 5am for 5 mornings next week to do the job. But that’s not so fine because someone has to be there to let the plumber in at 5am for 5 mornings next week – and someone has to pay for that worker to get there with the keys at 5am to let that plumber in. Digital keys mean you can set a key in seconds to work from 5-8am for every morning next week for the plumber or anyone outside the organization/department requiring access.

3.  Digital keys make Property Management more efficient, bring savings in Human Resources, improve homelessness (and reduce crime) ultimately saving millions of dollars a year.

Not only do Government assets require maintenance they also require management . Human resources are currently used to manage Government assets. Lets take another look at Government public housing – this time by the numbers. Here are some statistics for public housing in Australia. The State of Queensland has a population of 4.5 million. Of that population, 69,000 of them are on a waiting list for public housing. More than 7100 of the states 54, 468 public housing properties are not fully utilized. About 680-750 houses lie vacant at any one time, and there are 5617 properties with three bedrooms or more tenanted by singles, and a further 816 residences are occupied by households earning more than the $80,000 threshold. More than 5500 people joined the wait list in the past year, an average of 460 a month. If reading those numbers for you is exhausting, just imagine trying to manage those numbers (see here for reference).

The reason why there are all those houses are vacant at any one time is because the Human resources required to manage them cannot keep up. The reason why people earning over the $80,000 threshold are still in the houses, are that the Human Resources cannot keep up with the changes and the processes involved in ending these tenancies.
And the reason why there are so many singles in 3 bedroom homes is that there has been no affordable and simple way to secure separate rooms. The same applies to any sharehouse.
Digital keys access control is the final piece required to bring all the steps and processes of property management to come together online and allow for complete automation. See video below for an explanation of Human Resources in Hotel management (just change the words hotel to Government).

2. Digital Keys access control systems are more secure than existing smartcard access control systems.

At a minimum, digital keys users will be far more likely to notice and report a lost phone carrying a portable identity credential than they would a missing card. Additionally, digital keys make it easier to quickly and efficiently modify security parameters. For instance, in a traditional application such as accessing a federal building, two pieces of evidence — or authentication factors — are required to prove identity. The same is true of bank ATMs, where the plastic card is the first piece of evidence, and a PIN code is the second. With an NFC phone, two-factor authentication could be dynamically turned on when necessary, such as when intelligence leads to an elevated threat level. With an NFC-based mobile phone carrying digital keys or credentials, an application can easily be pushed to the phone that, for instance, requires the user to enter a 4-digit PIN on the phone before it sends the message to open the door, making multi-factor authentication a real-time managed service. In addition digital keys locks and readers are fitted with numeric keypads, and the user can be prompted to enter a PIN code on the door in addition to presenting the mobile phone. With the access-control decision-making and record-keeping now residing on the phone rather than each individual lock, it becomes significantly easier to secure locations and items with disconnected locks, and then acquire new keys, remotely deliver keys to other people, and change the rules for who can use each digital key, and when. The locks can still be audited at anytime to see who and when the lock was accessed.
The hardware in a digital keys access control system. Powering is provided by batteries, and one small cord connecting the electric strike faceplate to the reader.

The hardware in a smartcard access control system. Powering is provided by onsite electricity which needs to be connected by wires to a control panel and onsite PC.

1.Digital keys are around one tenth of the price of smartcard access control systems, and require ‘next to nothing’ maintenance costs, and can be installed in minutes by anyone.

Modern smartphones have on-board intelligence that is comparable to today’s typical smartcard access-control system, and can be used to perform most of the tasks that otherwise would be jointly executed by reader and server and/or control panel and smartcard.
 A typical smartcard access control system usually costs between $1200- $2500 per door to install e.g see Digital keys access control systems cost between $120-$300 per door to install.

 Digital keys and portable identity credentials have simply replicated existing smart card-based access-control principles, and offer all the same benefits and functionalities. Digital key readers and digital key locks are built without any significant intelligence or connectivity capabilities. Smartphones verify a person’s identity and any other relevant rules (such as whether the access request is within the permitted time period during the day). All the digital key reader must do is interpret the encrypted command to open the door — the readers (or locks) become encrypted door switches that are not connected to a panel or server, reducing the cost of access control. 

So the bottom line is that digital keys require no wiring, no onsite electricity, no onsite PC’s/controllers/servers, in some cases no wi-fi connections, and they can be installed in minutes by anyone anywhere. Digital key access control systems can fill the gaps in smartcard access control systems. Digital keys can secure and provide access to spaces that could never normally be secured because they are battery powered and/or solar powered and/or powered by kinetic energy.
Now all we have to do is educate Governments about these savings. Will you help educate your Government by forwarding this blog post on?

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