Cloud technology has transformed the way we live and work. Since Amazon’s launch of the Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006, businesses of all shapes and sizes have begun to move to the cloud — and the number of cloud-based applications continues to grow at an exponential rate.
Designed to allow companies and individuals to store and access information (or systems) via the internet, the cloud provides more efficient and robust computing power than what you can achieve using an on-premises server or hard drive. In fact, cloud technology is so effective, it’s estimated that companies will store 83% of workload on the cloud by 2020.
The benefits of cloud-based access control software for self-storage operators
Although the cloud provides significant benefits for companies across industries, cloud-based solutions are particularly valuable for self-storage operations. Remote workflows, multiple locations, and other factors make on-premise software cumbersome and, in many cases, more vulnerable to problems than cloud solutions.
In self-storage, access control systems are a prime opportunity for a transition to the cloud. By migrating access control from on-premise servers and hard drives to the cloud, self-storage owners and operators can realize several impactful advantages.
1. Anytime, anywhere access — on any device
With cloud-based access control software, owners and operators can maintain total visibility and control regardless of their location. You no longer have to be physically on site to view activity, perform lock checks or provide/restrict access to tenants. For multi-site operators and owners who aren’t located on site, anytime, anywhere access on a device of their choosing creates new opportunities for improved efficiency and better facility management.
2. Instant and constant software updates
Updates are the bane of on-premise software and systems. Unless you purchase and download the latest updates, you aren’t running the most recent version of software, and your system or database is vulnerable. Cloud-based solutions eliminate the need for manual updates — the latest versions of the software are automatically pushed to all customers, ensuring that your system is continuously up-to-date.
3. Improved data recovery and risk prevention
Automatic backups provide an insurance policy against data loss. But even though on-premise computers and servers can automate the backup process, your data is still at risk. Why? Because a single event (e.g., fire, flood, theft, etc.) can wipe out your entire backup library, completely eliminating customer data, system settings and more. The cloud provides remote data storage, redundant security features, and seamless data recovery. It insulates your access control system from the risk of potentially catastrophic data loss.
4. Enhanced system suppor
It’s important to know that cloud-based access control software offers better support capabilities than PC-based, on-premise versions. Instead of forcing users to describe problems over the phone, the support team can access your account directly, significantly improving technicians’ ability to diagnose and resolve issues. The result is less downtime, less frustration, and less time spent troubleshooting with a support team.
5. Single login for owners and operators
Cloud-based access control software allows owners and operators to access systems for multiple sites using a single login. Based on the demands of multi-site storage operations, single login access is quickly becoming a must-have. Rather than physically visiting each location, owners and operators can effectively manage access control systems from any location via a single login and system dashboard. Leading access control solutions also allow owners and operators to customize system access for multiple users based on roles and authority levels, enabling limited access for site managers and other employees.
Although security was a serious concern during the early days of cloud technology, those days are well behind us. In today’s technology environment, robust, cloud-based access control software is more secure than its on-premise counterparts. Unlike on-premise solutions that are updated quarterly (or less frequently), cloud solutions are constantly updated with the latest security patches. So, with cloud-based access control software, you never have to worry whether your system is vulnerable to the latest cybersecurity threats.
Is cloud-based access control software right for your self-storage operation?
Savvy self-storage owners and operators recognize that cloud technology represents a vital step forward for the industry. Rigorous operating environments, multi-site business models, and other variables demand more features and firepower than on-premise access control software can provide.