It’s not the most daring and cutting-edge prediction to say 2011 will be Wi-Fi’s second coming. However, you might be caught off guard when I tell you to not worry about a vendor’s WLAN architecture. Your business needs will flush out the right one. Despite the initial hype seven years ago that Wi-Fi was going to be the new edge, it’s been the second choice for most users to connect with at work — but that will change. A tidal wave of wireless devices will be crashing through the enterprise front door very soon. Just look at the carriers scrambling to build out their infrastructure — there’s no shortage of stories about AT&T and their build-out of Wi-Fi in metropolitan areas. And users have fused their work and personal phones and are looking to seek coverage from carrier data plans.
The time to start was yesterday, and you have a ton of work to do. Your edge will be servicing:
Employees with corporate netbooks and their own smartphones and/or tablets who watch training videos on YouTube from companies like VMware.
Devices like torque tools, temperature sensors in exothermic chambers, ambient light sensors, and a myriad other devices.
Contractors with their own laptops, netbooks, tablets, and/or smartphones who need access to specific company applications.
Guests like account executives entering customer information into their CRM programs.
All the things being developed at venture capital backed incubators.