How to Boost Your Wireless Network (Without Breaking the Bank)
For as long as the PC industry has existed, dating back to the 1980s, companies have tried to save money on IT-related expenses.
Optimizing your wireless network, while minimizing spending, may on the surface sound appealing. However, even many veteran IT professionals get it wrong. Why? Because the pace of change is so fast.
And if you’re a mere mortal CEO or a line of business manager that’s only moderately technical, you’re in for a rough ride -- if you’re trying to optimize your wireless network while spending as little as possible.
In this article, you’ll learn about buying WiFi on a budget and how purchasing on a subscription could save money and create less stress in the long run. You’ll also find out how to avoid some of the most significant potential problems that occur when buying too much of the wrong equipment with an inexperienced engineering staff.
Any Business -- Including Yours -- Can Afford Fast, Secure WiFi Performance
It no longer matters what kind of business you own or manage. Retail. Higher Education. K-12 Education. Hospitality. Healthcare. Or Industrial.
In a digital-first world, where incumbents with decades of first-mover dominance are on the brink of disruption, every business is now a technology business.
Wireless networking, WiFi, while once considered a nice-to-have is no longer a luxury. Fast, reliable, and secure WiFi is now a necessity for most businesses -- just as important as utility power, running water, heating, and air conditioning.
For small companies, however, it can be especially challenging to afford fast, secure WiFi performance. Why? Technology infrastructure can be notoriously expensive -- both initially and on an ongoing basis.
Fortunately, as the demand for wireless networking has become more pervasive, innovative technology providers have found creative ways to drive the initial and ongoing costs down to the point where pretty much any business -- including yours -- can afford fast, secure wireless networking performance.
Purchasing WiFi vs. Subscribing to WiFi as a Service
If having a well-optimized wireless network, while keeping a lid on spending, is essential to your business, you should first rethink whether you should purchase WiFi at all.
Am I telling you that your company doesn’t need wireless networking? Should you head on back to the glory days of stringing twisted pair, Category 5 or Category 6 cable to every single device on your network?
Heck no! How would that even work with all of those smartphones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices?
Here’s what you should rethink: The whole “buying” vs. “renting” framework.
Even if you and your team are the most tech-phobic group on earth, you’ve no doubt thought through why people:
● Buy homes versus rent
● Purchase commercial real estate vs. lease
● Buy cars vs. lease
● Hire a full-time employee vs. a fractional, outsourced equivalent.
But “leasing” or subscribing to IT tools is hardly new either. For well over a decade now, businesses of all sizes, across pretty much all industries, have grown accustomed to popular Software as a Service (SaaS) applications from companies like Google, Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce.
Why have all five of these companies built billion dollar businesses around this concept? Because their clients can deploy faster, avoid big upfront costs, complete sidestep upgrade hassles, and standardize.
However what you may not realize is that you can also get WiFi for your company in the same way: by subscribing to WiFi as a Service (WaaS).
What makes a WiFi subscription so much more appealing than purchasing wireless network infrastructure the old fashioned way?
● No more capital expenditures (CapEx) on computer networking hardware
● Managed IT services drive down your support costs
● Faster troubleshooting when problems come up
● More predictable WiFi costs
● No need to plan or budget for equipment refreshes every few years
● Faster, more reliable, and more secure WiFi for both your employees and your guest WiFi users
How to Avoid Buying Too Much of the Wrong WiFi Equipment
So now that you’ve seen the benefits of changing your mindset from purchasing WiFi, to subscribing to WiFi, there’s another big way to optimize your WiFi while minimizing spending: making the right WiFi equipment purchase decisions.
All too often, companies make the mistake of hiring a generalist IT vendor for their wireless network when they need a specialist.
It doesn’t matter whether this vendor is a value added reseller (VAR), managed service provider (MSP), or network integrator. If the vendor you pick is a jack of all trades or isn’t big enough to have a team of enterprise WiFi experts, chances are their recommendations on wireless design, hardware, software, and support will be the wrong choices for your company.
Yes, an internal medicine doctor is qualified to deliver a baby. But if that internal medicine doctor has only delivered eight babies in their 15-year career, is that doctor the right choice? Most rational parents with better options usually pick an obstetrician that delivers eight babies a week -- or maybe eight babies a day.
So when evaluating your company’s choices for initial and ongoing wireless networking support, don’t make the mistake of picking the generalist that installs two or three big WiFi networks a year. Instead, avoid buying too much of the wrong WiFi equipment by zeroing in on an enterprise wireless networking specialist that installs two or three big WiFi networks every single month -- sometimes every week.
Steering Clear of Inexperienced WiFi Engineering Staff
Now that you know the benefits of subscribing to WiFi, as opposed to taking the traditional WiFi purchase route, and you’ve learned how to avoid buying too much of the wrong WiFi hardware, there’s one final way to optimize your wireless network while reigning in costs: don’t become your IT vendor’s guinea pig or lab rat.
This one’s especially tricky for non-IT professionals. Here’s why.
If you manage a retail store, you know how to hire the right staff. If you’re a dean in a college, you’re likely a pro at recruiting the right professors. If you own a restaurant, you know exactly how to build, motivate, and manage a world-class kitchen and wait staff.
But when it comes to your wireless network, do you know what to zero-in on to steer clear of inexperienced WiFi engineering staff? Chances are you wouldn’t know where to start.
However do you know who does know how to recruit, train, and manage a world-class team of enterprise WiFi engineers? A company that specializes in wireless networking like SecurEdge Networks, that’s installed hundreds of wireless networks since 2006.
The Bottom Line on How to Have an Optimized Wireless Network Without Breaking the Bank
There was a time, not too long ago, when a company had a competitive advantage by investing in a wireless network. And a few years before that, your company was really on the cutting edge if it had a website. However, those days are long gone.
It’s now a competitive necessity for your company to have a super-fast, reliable, and secure wireless network -- regardless of your business model or industry.
Unless your company is large enough to have a team of in-house enterprise WiFi specialists, it’s nearly impossible to design, install, support, and maintain the wireless network that addresses your company’s current and future IT needs.
In this article, you’ve learned some tips about buying WiFi on a budget and how purchasing on a subscription (WiFi as a Service) could save money and create less stress in the long run. You’ve been introduced to how any business can afford a fast, and secure WiFi network with just about any budget. And just as important, you’ve seen how to sidestep the all-too-common WiFi performance problems of buying too much of the wrong equipment with an inexperienced engineering staff designing and deploying it.
To find out how your company can have a well-optimized wireless network while minimizing your spending, reach out to SecurEdge networks for a design consultation.
Joshua Feinberg is President of the Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute where he finds revenue growth opportunities that companies are currently missing. This includes helping clients differentiate, get found earlier in the buyer's journey, achieve trusted advisor status, and command premium pricing power to drive sustained, profitable, revenue growth. He's been writing professionally for the IT services market since 1998 and is a former Microsoft Corporation content provider for its Small Business Server (SBS) product teams and small business channel partner teams. As a big fan of inbound marketing and inbound sales, Joshua holds 10 HubSpot Academy certifications. A New Jersey native and Rutgers grad, Joshua now lives in South Florida with his wife and two children.