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Workplace WiFi is now business-critical say UK SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are embracing mobile devices and WiFi to boost productivity and customer service, but a third has been held back by poor network reliability and concerns about data breaches, according to a new study by global networking company NETGEAR, Inc.

The study of 500 firms with between one and 250 employees, across all business sectors, confirms that technology-enabled business is no longer the preserve of large firms. Three quarters (75 percent) of SMEs say that having a wireless network has become critical to the running of their business, rising to 84 percent of firms with more than 100 employees.

The benefits of wireless include the fact that employees can move freely around the workplace while staying connected to colleagues and customers. This is making 74 percent of firms more productive, and improving customer service by 75 percent. A significant 67 percent say it is how they keep pace with the competition, and 53 percent rely on the wireless network to connect an ever-growing range of employee and company-owned mobile devices to the business.

In the light of this growing business dependence on WiFi it is worrying to note that one in three firms have struggled to implement an effective and secure wireless service.

Just under a third (31 percent) had considered abandoning all plans after a bad experience with poor network quality and reliability, while 33 percent feared a possible data security risk. A quarter (25 percent) were unsure how to introduce wireless into their existing IT infrastructure, rising to 35 percent of firms with more than 100 employees.


•Date: 14th October 2014 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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