Naturally, access control system designs have become larger and more complex over the years. A lot of large systems start out small and grow with the needs of the company utilizing them. Non-scalable systems are systems that were designed without foreseeing the need to upgrade or expand in the future. Trying to upgrade these “unscalable” systems can be costly and frustrating. An example of an unscalable system would be one with access control panels which would only accept up to 64 card readers. If a 65th employee was hired and the company wanted to create a card for them, they would have to replace every access control panel and the software that runs them. This usually costs about $50,000.
Access control manufacturers first solution for this was to design scalable hardware. This only solved half the problem, because the software was still unscalable. So when the 65th employee got hired on to a company with software designed for 64, the company had to upgrade their software. This also cost about $50,000.
Finally a company came along and offered access control systems with hardware and software scalability, and set the new standard. Because of this, the majority of Access Control manufacturers are now designing systems with hardware and software scalability in mind.