Despite its progress over the last 23 years, the promise of seamless Wi-Fi connectivity has not quite been delivered. As the number of connected devices proliferate, the large number of simultaneous connections running from multiple servers has caused the network to reach breaking point. It just can’t cope yet the expectation for Wi-Fi to work, and for the IT department to fix any issues, has heightened user frustration.
The problem is, many are underestimating what Wi-Fi is used for in the workplace. Multiple simultaneous connections running from numerous servers continue to cause a strain on the wireless network and added to this is the number of applications being used at work. Workers are also not just connecting their corporate-provided computers, but a large number of personal devices too adding to the variety of challenges underpinning the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon.
The advent of the always-on culture and growth of BYOD has impacted the workplace making it a necessity for an organisation to meet the connectivity needs of their employees. According to Gartner, we are currently observing the rise of the “business consumer” – employees who continue to be consumers and make consumer like decisions when they enter in the workplace. With access to strong connectivity at home and on public transport, business consumers also expect this in the office and so organisations need to deliver robust and easy to access Wi-Fi to support this digital workforce.
IT departments need to keep devices connected so that workers have a seamless and productive experience, an experience that they have grown to expect wherever they go. A real challenge here is that many of these devices are designed for consumer use at home and so having a high battery life often overrides the need for a strong Wi-Fi transmission. To overcome this challenge, IT departments need to implement a network made up of access points (APs) and routers that have been specifically designed to enhance the Wi-Fi experience for these consumer-grade devices.
Using custom designed antennas that allow APs to receive transmissions from lower power devices such as smartphones and tablets increases the speed of transmission and lowers the errors and need for retransmission. With custom designed antennas come the signal strength that is needed for APs to be able to cope with high capacity from users, devices and apps, so that it can deliver the type of experience that users have come to expect.
Increased mobility in the workplace and the rise in BYOD has forced employers to make changes to their APs and routers. By understanding that there are a vast number of devices entering the workplace, and each devices has different requirements to corporate provided laptops, enterprises can ensure that their 24-hour connected workforce remain connected.