Wireless: Resistance Is Futile

Despite concerns over security, wireless standards and investment protection, IT is being forced to address the increasing demands for wireless services.

April 21, 2006

1 Min Read
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Users are demanding wireless services for convenience and increased productivity. This forces IT to respond, despite concerns over security, wireless standards and investment protection.

That's the conclusion of a recent reader survey regarding enterprise WLAN adoption. In our sample, just over 25 percent reported no wireless adoption to date. At the other extreme, 15 percent reported installations of more than 100 access points. The remaining 60 percent fell in between.

There are interesting differences among these three groups, which we'll label wireless resisters, tactical adopters and strategic adopters. When we asked how Wi-Fi might transform LAN services three years into the future, even the wireless resisters acknowledged a significant role, with 32 percent predicting Wi-Fi would be broadly available throughout their facilities. That compares with 46 percent of the tactical adopters and 62 percent of the strategic adopters.

As for benefits associated with wireless, the highest-ranked item across all three groups was increased employee convenience and satisfaction, followed by increased productivity and business process improvement.

Security continues to be the biggest barrier, followed by lack of compelling business justification and uncertainty over standards. At the opposite extreme, no group cited lack of user demand, operational costs or dissatisfaction with vendor offerings as a significant barrier. The vendors that do the best job of addressing concerns over security, standards and protecting enterprise investment are likely to garner considerable future business.

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