Staying Ahead of WLAN Complexity with Continual Training
As WiFi technology advances — bringing ever-faster speeds and ever-more devices online — designing, maintaining, and securing enterprise networks is an increasingly demanding task for IT professionals.
Rapid advancements in WLAN technology promise to bring dramatic, positive changes for connected enterprises — along with a host of potential hazards.
Enterprise WiFi networks stand to benefit from new standards and protocols, but without expert hands guiding the transition, your networks could end up suffering from compatibility, security, and coverage issues as old technologies are outmoded.
The truth is that there’s no shortcut to a seamless transition for your WiFi network, which means that IT professionals must continually update their training and knowledge base in order to keep pace with the increasingly complicated world of wireless connectivity. If IT professionals fail to evolve alongside the technology they’re supposed to be managing, they will leave enterprises ill-prepared for the next generation of connectivity in the workplace.
How Far We’ve Come
When ethernet was developed at Xerox Parc in 1973, the advent of wireless networking was still 25 years away. Yet in just the last two decades, average WLAN speeds have increased thousands of times over.
Connectivity in the enterprise has likewise improved in every which way, including range, reliability, cost-efficiency, and compatibility. As a result, WiFi has cemented its place as the primary means of connectivity in the developed world.
While technological advances have created more access points (APs), faster speeds, and better coverage for users, IT professionals have been forced again and again to understand and adapt to new and more complicated technologies. And that’s even harder than it sounds.
For one, IT teams are constantly faced with a litany of compatibility wrenches like old client drivers, OS updates, code bugs, and the proliferation of unsecured devices brought about by the BYOD era.
Moreover, a fundamental disconnect between marketing, sales, system designers, and IT maintenance teams persists. At the marketing and sales level, you find a constant push to create need where there isn’t any — as a result, customers are often encouraged to make network upgrades that just don’t make practical sense. At the systems design level, you find network specs that can’t be implemented as they’ve been scoped out. Maintenance is left to put all the broken pieces back together — often suboptimally, since they’re working with the wrong equipment, poorly designed systems, and dissatisfied customers who have been burned one time too many.
Compounding these issues, the proliferation of connected devices, or endpoints, has also dramatically increased the difficulty of providing robust enterprise cybersecurity. As McKinsey & Co. points out, “Earlier, a large corporate network might have somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 endpoints; [now], we are talking about millions or tens of millions of endpoints.”
What Comes Next
With enterprise networks adopting increasingly advanced technologies, in-house IT pros simply aren’t equipped to make yet another major adjustment. We’ve only just gotten a taste of the connected chaos that the Internet of Things will bring — namely, that it will force networks to cover a practically endless number of new connections.
The upshot is the self-evident and critical need for IT professionals to get a firm handle on the next wave of WLAN technologies before it bowls them over.
For enterprises looking to the embrace the future of WiFi, partnering with a seasoned networking expert like Turn-key Technologies (TTI) is an clearly effective means to securing a future-proof network. In-house IT teams are often stretched so thin dealing with the problem of the day that they lack the resources to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.
At TTI, we can leverage our wealth of expertise in the design, maintenance, and security of enterprise wireless networks to help you tackle those problems. With nearly three decades of relevant experience, multiple industry certifications, and numerous accolades, TTI has the know-how necessary to help enterprises transition seamlessly to the next generation of WLAN technology.