‘Fit for Purpose’ Enterprise Wireless LANs

Date February 5, 2015 Author Comments Leave your thoughts

Does your wireless LAN fit your requirements.

 

Our office mobile phone contract expires later this year and we’ve been debating the pros and cons of renewing all the handsets or keeping them for another year or so.  In the end, it comes down to the financials and the risk of continuing to use out of warranty devices – we’ll figure it out in due course.

Trading Your Sports Car? 

One question we’ve asked though is “will the current devices continue to provide the service we need?”  That is, are they still fit for purpose?  That set me thinking more about ‘”fit for purpose” and what it means to our business and customers.  Think about this one; a young couple may drive around happily in their two-seater sports car but then children arrive and (unless they’re fortunate enough to be able to afford both) the sports car gets traded in for a more spacious family saloon (come on, we’ve all been there or probably will be in the future!).  The point is that there was nothing wrong with the sports car in terms of its ability to go from A to B but it wasn’t capable of taking the whole family and so, in the new family circumstances, was no longer fit for purpose.

Changing Demands on Wireless LAN

Because our working practices are subject to constant change in terms of our environment, what we do, the technology we use, and so on, the same principle applies to many aspects of our businesses including our wireless networks.  It wasn’t so long ago that wireless networks were deployed based on coverage or capacity or some balance of the two in a pretty uniform manner.  But that isn’t how we need them to operate today.  Our businesses are diverse; we may have sections dealing with graphics design – a few people dealing with very large data files.  What they need is very high capacity but, probably, few client device connections.  Busy general office areas are likely to require a moderate number of client connections and data rates while very social areas such as staff restaurants may have very high client device numbers but could be capped (if required) to relatively low data rates per client.

Does Your Network Still Deliver?

Will your wireless network still deliver in years to come?So, it’s time to think about how our businesses have changed over the years and whether or not the wireless network installed 3/4/5 years ago still delivers the services we need in every part of the business.

It’s not limited to just the hardware deployed; newer software systems can provide a multitude of controls over the operation and usage of the network.  Neither does it necessarily imply a ‘fork lift’ replacement of the whole network. If it’s still fit for purpose in some areas, leave those alone and concentrate on where the big changes have happened; if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!

Of course, the ideal solution is to build any new network based upon where we know we’ll be in a few years, so time to dust off that crystal ball. When (yes, when) things turn out somewhat differently, please refer back to the previous paragraph…

Is your network fit for purpose?  Maybe, maybe not.  Either way we can help to assess its capabilities against your needs and, if necessary, recommend appropriate changes.

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Author Ian Price

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