March 25, 2013

The Wi-Fi Landscape: Fulfilling the Needs of Each Stakeholder

The Wi-Fi landscape has reached its tipping point: Consumer Wi-Fi enabled devices are hitting the marketplace in record numbers – and with this increase comes the challenging aspect of managing connectivity and ensuring user experience.

Just look at the numbers:

  • Apple shipped more iPads in 2 years than Macs over the previous 20 years1
  • 2B Global Wi-Fi enables devices with 1B more in 201222
  • WLAN projected to grow from $3B in 2011 to $6.2B in 2016 globally3

Unfortunately, most corporate networks are not prepared to keep up with these projected increases in demands. In fact, according to a recent Sans Interactive Survey, less than 10% of organizations are fully aware of the devices accessing their networks.

This can be a major problem for IT departments, which have typically only focused on backend hardware. Now, because things like user experience, customer connectivity, and – maybe most importantly – employee productivity are on the line, the role of the network at the office has changed significantly.

What’s more,  there are a myriad of stakeholders involved – each with their own unique set of focuses, wants and needs.

  • The User: Simply put, the end user does not want to have to jump through hoops just to gain access. Nor do they want to be frustrated by slow connections or limited functionality. They just want to be able to log on without any hiccups.
  • The IT professional: For the IT manager, an increase in wireless activity needs to include an increase in visibility and control. Instead of a solution that adds to their already burgeoning network responsibilities, they need a unified solution, one that will reduce network redundancies and administrative tasks.
  • The Corporate Exec: At the business level, the primary concern for wireless activity relates to the impact it has on the company’s current operations. Business executives don’t want to be hassled by higher risk and security threats. In fact, what they really want is for their investment in wireless connectivity to equal a return in productivity and ROI.

The question then becomes is your Wi-Fi network  fulfilling the needs of each stakeholder? If not, maybe it is time to explore the potential of a unified approach to network management.

 

Sources:

1 – Apple, Q2 FY2012 Earnings Call

2 – ALU April 30, 2012 WiFi: The Cable Opportunity

3 – 1IDC WW Enterprise Network Infr. April 2012

4 – SANS Mobility/BYODSecurity Survey. March 2012

About The Contributor:
Scott FergusonWireless Product Marketing Manager

Scott Ferguson is a Product Marketing Manager at Extreme Networks with 20+ years of domestic and international experience in the computer and data communications industry. He has held numerous senior level positions in engineering, product management, and product marketing for start-ups, fortune 500 companies, and business turnarounds in both carrier and enterprise focused businesses. Scott is an industry leader driving hardware and software products to financial success and market recognition, in: security, management systems, network infrastructure, and applications. Scott has held senior level positions at companies that include Apani Networks, Avaya, Colubris Networks, Nortel Networks, and Xyplex Networks. Scott has also been a consultant for companies helping them achieve their business goals through his strategic / business planning, new product introduction, implementation, and marketing skills.

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