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Enterprises Are Expanding Wireless, Survey Finds

A survey released Wednesday by In-Stat/MDR indicates that wireless technology already plays an important role in most enterprises and that it is becoming even more important.

Half of the mid-sized and large enterprises in the survey said they already have wireless equipment or data applications and another 30 percent are either planning or evaluating wireless for future deployment, the market research firm said in a statement. About 75 percent of the enterprises that currently use wireless technology said they expect to expand usage in the future.

The survey polled 339 IT managers and 587 "decision-influencers" such as department or division heads, according to the company. The survey included enterprises with 100 or more employees.

Currently, about 20 percent of IT budgets are used for wireless services and equipment, the survey found, including WLAN equipment, application developers and the expenses related to wireless operators. However, the survey also found that additional funding for wireless frequently comes from specific divisions or departments within the enterprise.

Current wireless applications sited in the survey include e-mail, Web access and using Office documents. However, the respondents most commonly cited Web-based applications and instant messaging as applications they expect to go wireless in the future. The market research firm said the survey found only "moderate" interest in voice-over-WLAN.