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High-Tech Seniors

Myth Buster: Seniors Connected with Technology 

You know the stereotype. Older people don’t use technology. They can’t send a text. They are dependent upon landline telephones. Not true! 

Mobile technology use among older Americans, aged 65 or more, has spread rapidly in the U.S. Today, it is estimated that more than 42% of adults ages 65 and older report using smartphones, up from just 18% in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center. And, a recent Dropbox survey reported on average that people 55 years of age and more use 4.9 forms of technology per week, compared to the overall average of 4.7 per week. They get it! 

Today more seniors in the U.S. have access to mobile devices and are using them. However, there are distinctions in their tech adoption patterns. 

  • Internet use and broadband adoption among seniors begins to drop off around 75 years of age. 
  • Affluent and well-education seniors adopt at substantially higher rates that those with lower levels of income and educational attainment. 
  • Among seniors with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90% go online and 82% have broadband at home. For seniors earning less than $30,000 annually, 39% go online and 25% have broadband at home. 
  • Fully 87% of seniors with a college degree go online, and 76% are broadband adopters. Among seniors who have not attended college, 40% go online and just 27% have broadband at home. 

A record 46 million seniors live in the United States accounting for 15% of the overall U.S. populations. By 2050, 22% of Americans will be 65 and older, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections. 

Smartphone Dependency over Time 

At the same time America is graying, recent Pew Research Center surveys find that seniors are also moving towards more digitally connected lives. In fact, one-in-five American adults are now “smartphone-only” internet users—meaning they own a smartphone but do not have traditional home broadband services. 

Takeaway 

Savvy communicators and business people will recognize these trends and adjust the way they connect with seniors on all levels. Change is happening at a staggering rate and seniors are more than keeping up. Now we need to keep pace with them! 

Sources: Pew Research Center, 2018 Dropbox Survey, 2018 Next Avenue, 2019

Visitor Management Evolution (1)-1

Over-Engineered Technology

 

Visitor Management solutions for guarded properties in today’s market run the gamut from paper lists to high-tech solutions with high-price tags to match. What’s the right balance? How do you avoid contracting and purchasing an over-engineered solution and determine what’s best for your residential community, property or enterprise? 

What is Over-Engineering? The term “over” means “more than needed.” An over-engineered product is a product with more than needed capabilities and excess performances. Excessive performances burden the product in terms of cost, complexity, and adoptability by users. For example, most people only use a fraction of the functions of their computer, Smartphone or even their washing machine. Once you get started washing laundry, you are more likely going to choose the same cycle or sequence that suits you best and use that same cycle every time you turn the machine on. 

It’s the same with visitor management solutions. It sounds good to have all the bells and whistles, but are you really going to use them? Can your gate attendants execute them consistently? 

Evolution of Visitor Management Granting access into guarded communities, resorts and buildings, known as visitor management, has experienced technological evolution. The majority of today’s guarded properties still use paper and clipboards to manage visitor access. Some properties may even be using an aging technology such as licensed software, which stores data insecurely on a local computer, or web-based software, which stores data offsite but is inoperable during network outages. Vendors of licensed and web software aggressively promote excessive hardware and guest pass printing. Aging technologies necessitate the purchase of expensive hardware and require guest pass printing, which can heavily weigh ongoing expenses. Software license fees and hardware maintenance just add to total costs of ownership. 

The latest smart-phone mobile application technology has revolutionized visitor management by making the process quicker, cheaper, and more accurate than these aging or obsolete technologies. 

Needs vs Bells & Whistles There are certain visitor management solutions being marketed today that go-beyond what most properties require to verify guests, grant entry and maintain a digital log of all visitors. Some are “nice to haves” and come with hefty price tags ranging from bar-coded and photo passes for visitors, license plate recognition and thermal printers. 

Critical Factors to Consider 

When selecting a visitor management system, there are critical factors to consider to avoid potential downsides and costs. 

  • Will it improve procedure for security & residents? 
  • Will residents adopt or log into another website? 
  • Will critical data be lost if the computer breaks? 
  • Will it work even during a power or network outage? 
  • Will annual printing cost exceed monthly service? 
  • How often will equipment need to be replaced? 
  • Will large capital expenditures lock us into long-term contracts? 
  • What are the total up-front and ongoing costs? 
  • Is it easy for gate attendants to use consistently? 

Technology and Talent Findings from a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers CEO Survey of 1,400 company leaders indicate that 78 percent of US CEOs are concerned with the ability of workers to adapt to technology. The same holds true in the security industry. The visitor management system you select is only as effective as the user at gate entry point. The solution must be effective, user-friendly and make their jobs easier or it won’t be used as envisioned. 

Next-Generation Smart Technology The largest emerging trend for guarded properties is the increased use of smart technology for managing visitor access and improving security workforce performance. This next-generation technology has eliminated all of these unnecessary expenses associated with aging technology while improving on critical factors such as 

  • Resident or host access and adoption rates, 
  • Data security and integrity, 
  • Security team mobility and network independence, 
  • Ease of implementation and operation by users and security, 
  • Elimination of hardware and capital expenses, and 
  • Matching technology to guarded property talent. 

Gate Sentry 

Gate Sentry is a completely mobile visitor management solution. It links property users directly to your security, reception or gate attendants. No more paper logs or expensive hardware. Now guest lists are managed in realtime with 100% accuracy. It even operates when connectivity is lost. Mobile. Simple. Accurate. Affordable.