Survey: WLAN Deployments, Hotspot Use Set To Jump

Enterprise WLAN adoption and use of hotspots by traveling employees is currently low but both will significantly increase in 2004, according to a study and survey released Monday by Sage

January 13, 2004

2 Min Read
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Enterprise WLAN adoption and use of hotspots by traveling employees is currently low but both will significantly increase in 2004, according to a study and survey released Monday by Sage Research.

The survey found that, in about two-thirds of enterprises, less than 10 percent of employees currently use WLANs. In addition, only 86 percent of enterprises reported limited use by traveling employees of hotspots.

However, 80 percent of those companies said they planned to expand their internal WLANs in the next six months. And 48 percent of enterprises said they expected more than 10 percent of their employees to be using hotspots by the end of the year.

The expansion will be fueled primarily by perceived productivity gains afforded by WLANs, the survey found. About 66 percent of respondents cited increased productivity as the reason they are expanding their WLANs. About 43 percent cited increased customer satisfaction and about 35 percent less IT staff time when employees change locations.

Because of these benefits, WLAN usage is set to expand beyond early adopters such as IT departments and tech-savvy road warriors to mainstream users, the study concluded."Companies want assurance that any new IT investments will make money now," Joshua Weiss, project manager at Sage Research said in a statement. "Wireless LANs are fulfilling that requirement through productivity benefits, which have served not only to justify current WLAN expenditures, but to ensure that spending on this technology will expand throughout 2004."

The research firm also surveyed projected spending for wireless access points in 2004 and noted that manufacturing firms were most bullish on WLAN expansion. Those companies said they planed to spend an average of nearly $13,000 on access points in 2004. Retail respondents said they expected to spend more than $11,000 and healthcare providers said they'd spend more than $9,000.

Overall, respondents said security remains a serious concern despite plans to increase adoption. Most respondents said they planned to purchase tools to increase security.

Sage said it surveyed 159 IT professionals from a variety of industries.

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