Key Findings from IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise WLAN 2019 Vendor Assessment

Kendra Luciano Managing Editor, Content Marketing Published 21 May 2020

Introduction to IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise WLAN 2019 Vendor Assessment – key findings

In 2019, IDC conducted a study representing a vendor assessment model called IDC MarketScape. The research combines qualitative and quantitative assessments of multiple vendors’ opportunities for success globally, covering 11 enterprise wireless LAN vendors. Below you’ll find a summary of four key findings.

  1. The enterprise WLAN marketplace is growing and innovating continually.
  2. All businesses across verticals are shifting wired network workloads onto wireless. They’re also using wireless and mobility to enhance customer engagement and delivery new products and services to the marketplace.
  3. The enterprise WLAN market is maturing, but there are still growth opportunities in SMBs, retail, manufacturing and public venues for customer engagement focused use cases.
  4. Cloud-managed enterprise WLAN is becoming more prevalent. Vendor offerings are beginning to reflect this.

A sneak peek at the IDC MarketScape’s advice for technology buyers

As WLAN infrastructure is critical to digital transformation for many organizations, it’s important for technology decision makers to identify their top use cases and develop evaluation criteria for enterprise WLAN solutions. Here are a few of the recommendations the IDC MarketScape makes to organizations who are in the evaluation process:

  • Cloud-managed network models are becoming commonplace, and capabilities are beginning to diversify. Distributed enterprises as well as small to midsize organizations find that cloud-managed WLAN enables a more accessible delivery model.

25% of new enterprise WLAN deployments will be cloud managed in 2019, with the figure growing to 39% by 2023, IDC estimates.

  • Wi-Fi 6 deployments continue to roll out across the enterprise as WLAN vendors release products that support 802.11ax. The key benefit is enhanced Wi-Fi for large groups of simultaneous users, which is important for dense Wi-Fi environments. Wi-Fi 6 also boasts faster speeds and new features for IoT deployments.

Wi-Fi 6 will grow significantly in popularity in each of the next three years, rising to become the de facto wireless standard by 2024, IDC predicts.

  • Enterprise WLAN offers multiple architectural options: Physical controller, Virtual controller, Cloud managed, APs with integrated control

Each option is viable for different organizations depending upon business needs. It’s recommended that organizations select vendors with flexible architectural models to accommodate changing business needs.

The above is just a brief overview of the many data points available in the report excerpt. Read the complete IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Enterprise WLAN 2019 Vendor Assessment (Doc # US45066719, October 2019) to get all the details on the capabilities and business strategies of 11 enterprise WLAN vendors.

IDC MarketScape vendor analysis model is designed to provide an overview of the competitive fitness of ICT suppliers in a given market. The research methodology utilizes a rigorous scoring methodology based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria that results in a single graphical illustration of each vendor’s position within a given market. The Capabilities score measures vendor product, go-to-market and business execution in the short-term. The Strategy score
measures alignment of vendor strategies with customer requirements in a 3-5-year timeframe. Vendor market share is represented by the size of the icons.

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