The All-Wireless Workplace has Arrived!

Posted on September 30, 2015

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A couple of months ago I wrote about a great feature of Server 2012R2 that gives administrators the ability to prevent those pesky personal wireless devices from obtaining DHCP addresses from your Windows Server, keeping them off your network and preserving some sense of control over your available bandwidth.

There’s one little item I neglected to mention.  As effectively simple as this solution is, it’s only temporary!  It gives you a victory in a battle within a war that in the end is futile.  Each month their numbers grow and the pressure to accommodate their online demands grow exponentially along with their increasing presence.  Who are they?  They are GenMobile.  They are a generation of employees within your organization that looks at life through the eyes of mobility.   Yes, you spent tens of thousands of dollars, may hundreds of thousands on your wired infrastructure and you want to utilize it and force your users to use it.

Guess what?  They don’t care.

Who is this GenMobile group of users?  Well they aren’t just millennials but transverse multiple age groups.  It’s not just the fact that 64% of them own three connected wireless devices. Or the fact that 86% of them prefer wireless over wired connectivity and that they view connected devices as an absolute work necessity.  Mobility to them isn’t about connectivity.  It’s about a way of life.  They shudder at the legacy ideal of 9 to 5 at the office and view their work devices as extensions of their everyday lives that they stay connected with in order to provide them flexibility, while staying committed to the tasks at hand.  They are all about productivity and look at the wired walled office as a stymied relic that limits their ability to manage multiple This is about a whole new paradigm of worker.  For a complete breakdown into what GenMobile is all about, read a recent study on them by Aruba Networks.

The wireless way-of-life that GenMobile is all about is bringing with it new vocabulary that is solidifying within our work culture today.  Concepts such as the frictionless office, bleisure and the age of everywhere are some of the trends recently spotlighted by businessspecator.com.  No matter what the terminology you use, the idea is simple.  Life has become more fluid and the workplace must follow accordingly.  Work, leisure, home and office will become intermingled until they are simply inseparable.  The concept of the traditional office with conventional business hours will become as obsolete as the concept of keeping personal devices off your network.

It was just half a dozen years ago when your wireless infrastructure was an additional purchase.  It was the bonus infrastructure, the supplementary purchase you made just to keep up with the Jones’s next door in order to brag that you had wireless in your organization and supported 802.11n.  Many organizations offered wireless under the umbrella of “best-effort” back then.  Today, wireless is no longer an auxiliary purchase.  It demands your full attention.

If you aren’t allocating attention to it, your IT peers are.  In a recent study, Seven in ten IT professionals are under increasing pressure to deliver and support an all-wireless workplace.  71.1% of IT departments increased their investment in Wi-Fi, while another 46% were granted increased budgets for future mobility projects.  In addition, 55% of companies support the idea of connected personal devices.  You can see the full study here.

For many, the debate over BYOD is over, which is why companies such as Aruba Networks are asking a question that was unfathomable just six years ago.  “Why bother with the wires.”  Yes, why not just create a network solely optimized and designed for the natural proliferation of wireless.

The answer to this and similar types of questions has given way to the “all-wireless workplace.”  It’s something that enterprises need, a reality free of wires and an infrastructure with the stability and capacity to handle fluctuating workloads protected by maximum security.  Oh, and it has to be secure, smart enough to analyze and prioritize traffic, initiate real savings to help pay for itself and on top of everything, be simple.

Thankfully there are solutions available today offering just that.  One of them is new Wi-Fi architecture called Mobility Defined Networks by Aruba.  In fact, it is for this and Aruba’s complete product line built around their visionary reality of the wireless workplace that IntegraOne recently became an Aruba partner.   Next month, I will focus on Aruba and how their products line can benefit your organization and the GenMobile users that are a part of your organization.

 

 

 

 

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