Covid-19 changed the drivers for workplace related identities

It’s easy to think that the need and pull for issuing Corporate ID cards would have decreased with the situation of people working from home, not needing access to corporate buildings as much as before. “But, we at Nexus have investigated the behaviour and needs of our customer base and have come to some interesting conclusions,” says Daniel Hjort, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Nexus.

First and not surprisingly, the need for trusted digital identities enabling secure remote working has dramatically increased. Generally, many customers took a pragmatic shortcut on their digitalization journey by quickly implementing solutions that they had been discussing or piloting for a long time. Many others implemented short term fixes to manage the urgent need and have now started projects to migrate to more smooth and future proof solutions.

“When it comes to what we at Nexus call, Physical ID, we see something really interesting,” says Hjort. “The situation has definitely dramatically changed for many of our international customers, and all agree that it will not go back to how it was before.”

It would be easy to draw the hasty conclusion that the need and importance for Physical Identities, used for physical access and visual identification would drop dramatically. “For sure, we have seen a short dip in need and deliveries, but this quickly recovered,” adds Hjort. “The situation in the offices and facilities of our customers look different. The number of times a physical access badge is used has dropped, but the need for having a trusted badge is greater than ever.” Pre-Covid-19 there were standard and vague social validations involved as it was expected that people who worked in the same office knew each other. Now, it is more realistic that you haven’t seen your new colleagues in real life, even if you have worked at the same company for 6-months or even years.

Onboarding, validation and automation is more important than ever

The recruitment process has also changed as most processes are being done mostly remotely. It has become critical to have secure and automated digitized processes in place for when the onboarding of a new employee starts. Who is approving what, how are photos collected and validated, how are cards distributed and activated, etc.? This leaves many small details to be managed in a new and secure process.

The first time a new employee comes to the office, the need for having a trusted physical corporate identity to prove access rights is critical. “Many of our customers have already started to complement their physical and visual corporate identity card with a digital mobile representation in the form of a virtual smart card,” says Hjort. “This digital version is issued as soon as the physical card is approved for personalization, enabling the employee to identify him/herself professionally from the first hour.”

Having a digital and mobile version of the card also makes it easy to put additional validation steps in place as soon as a card is handed out. That is if it isn’t sent directly to the employees' home address with the card activation being done through self-service.

“A core conclusion we have discovered is that the usage of physical cards, counted in the number of times authenticated, is dropping, but the times it is used has turned out to be much more critical.” says Hjort. “It is almost like the “Zero Trust” model in IT is being adopted in the physical world as organizations continue their digital transformations to meet the needs of the future.”

To learn more about Physical ID Management, click here. Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss possibilities!

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