Wi-Fi and the workplace – Somethings you know and some you probably don’t.


Ever been to a hotel without Wi-Fi, find yourself cursing, or getting anxious for that next social media fix in a place with no signal. You are not alone.

 

Just a couple of years ago, a survey by Ipsos revealed that 73% of people could not imagine a life without the internet, furthermore across 23 other countries a whopping two-thirds of respondents thought living without the internet was just unbearable. That statistic will only have increased in the post COVID world.

The internet is one thing, and my kids can only imagine with horror, the days of dial-up connections, we live in a world where

On-demand, speed and efficiency are everything and my kids can only imagine with horror, the days of dial-up or no Wi-Fi.

Another lesser-known fact is that many think Wi-Fi stands for “Wireless Fidelity”, it doesn’t. The term Wi-Fi was coined as a trademark and logo by the Wi-Fi alliance back in 1999 and the rest is history.

 

Without getting too technical, Wi-Fi it transmits radio waves to our internet-enabled devices creating a communication stream that allows a transfer of data that can be sent through a physical connection (the router) to the internet.

Wi-Fi also has its own unique language and protocols. Since inception these have changed, in 1998 the world adopted the standard IEEE 802.11 (very catchy), since then we have been through many iterations of the protocol. The current version is 802.11ac, but 802.11ax is on its way. However, this will be now be called Wi-Fi 6, representing a change in how Wi-Fi will be branded in the future.

Want some technical facts on Wi-Fi 6 Click Here>

 The connected world.  

Our ability to connect the world without wires has grown and will continue to. In 2020 it’s estimated that we will have 31 Billion Devices* connected to the Internet (The Internet of Things- IoT) and current research is showing that the average number of connected devices in a home in 2020 will be fifty*!

The majority of these devices will be connected via Wi-Fi This proliferation and consumerisation of technology also weaves its way into the workplace.

Every single environment is being influenced and transformed by technology. The new connected workplace depends on robust, secure, and resilient internet and Wi-Fi to ensure efficient working and access to data and systems.

IoT and connected workplaces are controlling heating and cooling, lighting, even brewing the coffee. Aside from these, we have mobile workforces with tablets, laptops, mobiles, and smart devices, all sharing and connecting. Our expectations have shifted, we become irritated if we have to wait for files to download, and if connections drop in the office, it can be like the end of the world. We do not realise how much we rely on our wireless networks not just to work but for our wellbeing and creating and shaping new working environments.

Wi-Fi Challenges in the Workplace 

Of course, there are also challenges to be overcome, and these connected devices and demands on working practices can bring a multitude of barriers to overcome. Commonly these are around security and efficiency.

How do we manage all of these devices on the network, how can we control data usage, and how can we identify and remove suspicious devices and create firewalls to protect our business data and intellectual property?

Business also face both inside and outside threats, cyber-attacks on systems are not just delivered by hackers and cybercriminals but in state-sponsored attacks. Feckless and disgruntled employees are also a major risk and can wreak havoc.

While there is no silver bullet to ward off all threat vectors, you must adopt a security mindset and look to deploy technologies that deliver both on performance and security. For several years we have partnered Extreme Networks who have proven to our customers and us that they take this role seriously.

Using state of the art we recommend ExtremeCloud IQ that helps overcome challenges and delivers end to end networks (both physical and Wi-Fi).

It’s vital that any Wi-Fi solution you deploy not only gives the breadth of connectivity, but also depth in terms of management and intelligence around your network.

You also must ensure solutions deliver quality, innovation and the efficiency needed for competitive advantage, ensuring you’re productive and cost-effective.

“change will only be possible with a stable, secure, and resilient network”

A Brighter Future 

There is no question that the world and workplace is changing. We are seeing the first real internet generation (millennials) coming through and changing working practices. The workplace will no longer be 9 to 5 but a connected space of displaced workers collaborating effortlessly and in real-time across cyberspace. The technology we use will become smarter and data-driven, with an estimated 50 billion connected devices forecast by 2023.

All of these changes will only be possible with one thing a stable, secure, and resilient network. Those that don’t ensure systems are fit for purpose will be at a disadvantage, and those that can use technology to empower productivity will be the winners.

If you would like to discover the future of Wireless Networking, join us for our Extreme Virtual Test Flight” Workshop on the 25th of August at 10 am.

 

This exclusive, interactive, and action-packed event allows technically minded attendees to deep dive into ExtremeCloud IQ, the industry’s most powerful wired and wireless management system.