March 19, 2004, 10:29 AM — Companies citing security as the reason why they are choosing not to deploy wireless LANs (WLANs) within the enterprise are either making excuses for not being able to afford the technology or simply don't want to get involved in its complexity, according to industry observer.
While discussing the problems and paybacks of managing WLAN solutions during the Wi-Fi Planet Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, Craig Mathias, a principal at advisory firm Farpoint Group in Ashland, Mass., said that WLANs are still his favorite part of the wireless industry. He added however, that when it comes to managing the technology, "it's not as easy as it needs to be."
When asking companies why they are not currently deploying WLANs within the enterprise, Mathias said that security often pops up as the main reason, but added that this is a weak excuse.
"When you come down to it, I think security is a red herring today. If you want to build a secure WLAN you can," Mathias said. "The big issue now is TCO (total cost of ownership)."
Andris Dindzans, director of product management at WLAN solutions provider Trapeze Networks Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif., said that because the equipment price of WLAN technology is relatively low, TCO is not the issue keeping enterprises from deploying the technology. Instead, he said, it is the operational expenses associated with WLANs.
A critical factor of this operational expense, according to Dindzans, is incurred in a company