Wireless enterprises gain productivity

By Ana Orubeondo, InfoWorld |  Networking

Although it's been a longtime coming, technology is finally delivering on its core promise: The work you do between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. can become increasingly efficient and productive.

Wireless networking

BUSINESS CASE

A wireless LAN allows employees to be more productive by giving them ready access to resources while saving time and costs associated with implementing a traditional LAN.

TECHNOLOGY CASE

Wireless LANs are easier to install and maintain than are cabled networks, and the new IEEE 802.11b specification addresses speed, security, and reliability issues associated with older technologies. Widescale adoption of the specification should help protect investments.

PROS

+Costs less to install and maintain

+Gives users access from virtually anywhere they want to work

+Reduces downtime due to cabling problems

CONS

-Elevators, microwaves, and similar equipment may interfere with signals

-Cannot currently run at speeds faster than 11Mbps

Take the meeting, for example: Without the meeting, business would not be possible. Businesspeople need them to trade ideas and information, to determine problems and prepare solutions, and to put together a feasible plan of action for getting from where they are to where they want to be. Yet despite the umpteen millions of dollars you've spent on creating a "robust and scalable enterprise solution," the white board with colored markers is probably still the best tool you have to aid this process.

Thanks to concerted efforts of networking vendors to build fast, secure, and reliable wireless networks, time spent in meetings, as well as every other activity not done while chained to a desk, can be much better served.

By using a wireless network to give your employees direct access to the information they are molding into future profits, you are doing yourself and your profit-sharing program a huge favor. By allowing employees not only to access but also to make changes and create new documents while in the fervor of a meeting, you can help them capitalize on the great synergy a meeting creates and maximize the efficiency of their time spent together.

Wires! Wires!

In addition to the very powerful motivation that comes with giving your employees access to information when they need it, a wireless LAN can also be a lot less expensive to install and maintain than a traditional wired LAN.

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