Gone are the days when a business could happily function without a computer network. It keeps your organisation’s computers connected both to each other and to the internet, allowing information to be efficiently transacted both within your business and to the outside world.
There are two main types of computer network – wired and wireless. Wired, as you might have guessed, uses physical cable to connect your computers to one another and to the internet. Wireless network solutions, on the other hand, are able to send signals through nothing more than thin air.
The world is going wireless, and there are more than a few reasons that your organisation should be looking to do the same. So what are the perks? Here are 8 of the most glaring.
Being tethered by a cable restricts your movement within a space. You’re only ever able to work from somewhere that’s within a cable length of a port that you can plug into. You also have to take wires with you wherever you go if you care to access either your business’s network or the World Wide Web.
A wireless network allows employees to move around the office freely. Provided your router is capable, you can cover an entire building comfortably. This also means that your connection will never be interrupted, allowing you to roam while you’re on either a VoIP or video call.
With the explosion of ultra-portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, a large percentage of modern day professionals no longer bother with carrying a laptop. As such, Ethernet ports are on the way out.
Wireless networking systems allows your employees to conduct their business on whichever device they care to, provided the device has the ability to connect to a WiFi network (which it inevitably will). This allows them to quickly check emails between meetings, or update figures without having to plug in and boot up their laptop.
Free internet – whether you’re in the hospitality industry or not – is a great perk to offer any guests that visit your building. It also makes conducting business with your clients far easier. If they have one click access to your business’s network, the trading of information during business meetings is made that much easier.
The main goal of your organisation, if you’re a right thinking business owner, will be to grow. But if your network can’t grow with you, or if it’s difficult to have it grow with you, it will serve to stymie the organisation’s growth. By using cables to connect up your machines you are consigning yourself to buying more cables and moving, reconfiguring and rerouting them every time you need to expand your network.
Wireless networking systems allow you almost unlimited expansion. If someone or something new needs to be added to the network it’s as simple as creating a new user on the server. And if the need arises to add an extra desk within a certain part of the office, there’s no need to get an electrician to install an extra port in the area.
If you are restricted to using cable to access your network, many areas of your office space will likely become unusable for network-connected work. The nooks and crannies of your office space will lay there idle, doing nothing more than collecting dust. This can be a great drain on your organisation’s hip pocket, as your offices will not be used to their full potential. Wasted space equals wasted money.
Wireless networking systems allow every square inch of your office space to become a work area. What’s more, your employees are free to move around as they please; this allows them to find a quiet space whenever they may need it, which often leads to an increase in productivity.
Tethering yourself to a desk results in network-related work only being done when you’re at said desk. For many professionals the time spent sat at their work station takes up a surprisingly minor part of their day. While they’re away from their station important emails might remain unread and urgent requests unanswered.
Wireless networking systems allow your organisation to improve its responsiveness markedly. In this digital age your customers expect quick responses to queries and concerns. Your customer service staff will have instant access to both your customers and the necessary information required to address their concerns, and they can do all this from the coffee room if they so choose.
Imagine everyone at a conference or a team meeting having up-to-the-minute information on the topics being discussed. Imagine everyone in the room having instant access to important documents and applications on whatever device they choose. This accessibility breeds efficient and effective collaboration – it (quite literally) allows everyone in the room to be on the same page.
The cost of reworking and rewiring a physical network, what with its wiring, its cables and its ports, can quickly become extortionate. The simple process of adding an extra port in a meeting room will include an electrician’s call-out fee, labour costs and material costs. And if the need arises to move to a different office, this investment in your building will be instantly written off.
Compare and contrast this with adding connections to wireless networking systems, or indeed moving it into an entirely new office. This process, when compared with a wired network, is close enough to free. The ongoing maintenance costs are essentially limited to replacing your network’s router if it isn’t capable of supporting your growing network, or if it happens to fail.
Wired or wireless? When the pros are weighed against the cons, the answer is obvious. By choosing a wireless network solution you are improving your organisation’s efficiency, productivity and capabilities. You are future-proofing yourself, ensuring that you remain competitive and don’t fall behind those who seek to overtake you.
It’s time to cut the cord. The continued success of your organisation depends on it.