As organizations strive to make more effective use of people, workspaces, and business systems, flexibility may be the single biggest factor in worker productivity and corporate efficiency.
What underpins a company’s ability to create flexible work and lifestyles? The network.
Today’s businesses require network flexibility, reliability, and manageability – while also demanding network performance, security, and mobility.
By implementing in-building wireless solutions (Wi-Fi and cellular), the savvy enterprise can enhance processes and workflows, gain cost savings and operational efficiencies, and unlock the value of enterprise assets. At the same time, it is crucial to understand that the success of any wireless solution depends on an integrated and end-to-end approach to infrastructure as it can boost end-user adoption, leverages existing infrastructure and applications, reduces overall costs, and increases ROI for the benefit of the deploying enterprise.
Cabled or wired networks can provide a level of mobility, based on the provisioning of ports, in addition to delivering high performance, resilience, reliability, and security. Because of the speed and density of connections required in busy office environments and because spectrum will always be a scarce resource, I believe that wireless equipment is not going to replace wiring in office deployments any time soon. However, where you find people in motion who need information, the benefit is clear.
Wireless solutions provide complimentary benefits to wired networks, it does not have to be the either/or that seems to often be portrayed. For example, a worker may use a laptop computer in the office, connecting to the wired network through a docking station, and then work wirelessly when moving from meeting to meeting, or use a tablet or smartphone while on the move. The same employee might be wireless at home, using the same device on the couch or on the patio, or while traveling.
In general, wired networks offer process improvements where productivity is linked to the bandwidth and reliability of the network, and where business processes require timely access to large amounts of information. In contrast, wireless networks offer process improvements where productivity is linked to the amount of time the network is available to employees on the move.
In addition and probably most often overlooked, it should be noted that wireless network equipment is supported by and linked with a backbone of cabling without which the network can be limited in coverage and capacity.
So why is it important to properly plan for both wired and wireless technology in the infrastructure?