Wireless internet technology has progressed so far, so fast, that it is easy to take it for granted. Many people assume that installing effective WiFi is simply a matter of running out to your local big box store purchasing and plugging in the access point or router. If you have set up a wireless network for your home, or handled some of the IT installations at your small business, you may think you can handle your own professional WiFi setup. This can be a mistake, a fact that too many small business owners learn too late.
The simple fact is that setting up and maintaining a fast, safe, and scalable wireless network is more complicated than it looks, even for the tech savvy. And in a business environment, your WiFi is a crucial part of your IT infrastructure. Without it, you and your employees are essentially cut off from the benefits these systems provide. But not properly planning out the system and setting it up wrong can create performance and security problems.
Here’s one example of what could go wrong. We recently worked with a small business that did not properly plan and invest in the right system only to discover that what was installed always seemed prohibitively slow. The business considered all the normal causes, but was unable to fix the problem. After a lot of lost time and productivity, and an investment in IT help to review and begin to troubleshoot the system, two things were discovered. First was that the single access point that was installed did not work in the office even though the office space was small. The configuration of the space and the concrete block walls were prohibitive of the wireless single. Second, after deploying some business class demo equipment that provided application and device usage reporting, it was found that employees were streaming music off of iTunes via WiFi and it was slowing the whole wireless network down. If the business had engaged an IT solution provider that had the skills to access and recommend a proper system a lot of wasted time, productivity and stress could have been avoided as well as having to throw out the original system.
Using managed wireless solutions can help you establish the right kind of network from the start, and quickly resolve issues when they arise. These are just a few of the concerns they can resolve.
Access points – One access point or router may not be enough for your whole company. Managed wireless solutions can help you calculate exactly how many access points you need for everyone to get optimum performance.
Security – When you transmit sensitive information over wireless networks, it automatically becomes more vulnerable. WiFi makes things more convenient, but it brings with it important security concerns. Working with a professional can help you safeguard your network from a whole range of potential security threats.
Network expansion – WiFi networks are more sensitive than you may realize. Sometimes the addition of one extra user can bog down an entire network. Using managed wireless solutions, you can efficiently grow the size of your wireless network when you hire new employees or take on new projects.
Connectivity issues – It can be maddening when you find that you can't connect to your wireless network. Worse still, the causes of connectivity issues can be complicated and come from deep within your IT infrastructure. With managed wireless solutions, you can get professional help to diagnose and correct the problem. That gets you back online faster, and with a lot less stress.
Thrift and pride are usually the two reasons that business owners elect to handle their own IT, including WiFi. In the long run, however, you could save a lot of money, and a lot of unnecessary hassle by using managed wireless solutions. Your expertise is in your business field, not with wireless networks, so why not leave it up to someone who knows exactly what they are doing? To learn more about how outsourcing technology concerns can help your business, read our white paper “The Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”