Cost of Ownership


When faced with selecting an access control system, or any new security system, clients don’t always know the differences between the technologies and how the upkeep affects the cost of ownership over time. This takes a lot of knowledge or time spent researching technologies to make the best decision


We recently had a client ready to invest in standard access control technology. This client was deciding between two different access control platforms that met the basic needs of the facility. Both systems were well known and widely used; the only difference was cost. This is where we came in to help them determine any differentiators. BPS performed a total cost of ownership analysis which revealed a startling outcome.

Assessment of Existing Conditions

When we are asked to evaluate technology, but not as part of a risk assessment scope, our starting point would be an objective existing conditions Assessment. This entails analyzing what technology is in use, how it is deployed and administered, and whether it seems to fit with the facilities risk profile. It is important to establish a baseline for investing in a new system.

Technology Options

BPS then assists the organization in matching needs with available solutions. Since BPS does not sell any of the security equipment, we act as an advocate in your corner with no conflict of interest. BPS has a dedicated team studying the technology as it emerges, keeping up with the latest features and benefits to provide the right solution, not what the equipment vendors are selling that year. When multiple systems fit your situation, the next thing to consider is installation and maintenance costs over the life cycle.

Total Cost of Ownership Analysis

Specifically with our recent client, we started with a typical block diagram that listed the requirements of one of their typical buildings. We assessed both software platforms in an “apples to apples” comparison of the product capabilities and cost of upkeep of both hardware and software over ten years.


System 2 has a lower cost at start up and cumulatively every year thereafter in every required category for the scope of the project.

System 1 due to software support costs, after 10 years the delta in cost between System 1 and System 2 is
almost equal to the total cost of System 2 over the ten-year period. This indicates that the total cost of ownership of System 1 will exceed 200% that of System 2 for the total life cycle of the system given that 87% of access control systems are in service for more than 10 years. Some of this disparity could be eliminated by not paying for software support, but then the access control software would be out of date and eventually not supported.

The larger the system, the more disparity between the cost of the two systems.


Met all Access Control needs at a lower total cost over time with System 2

Saved 50% in startup costs and 100% of the maintenance costs over time compared to System 1

Saved 100% in time researching the systems by employing BPS experts to do the analysis