Wireless Technologies and their Impact on IT Management

With the wave of improvements in Wireless technologies and the increasing deployment into areas not considered “high-tech” such as healthcare and education, IT departments will need to rethink the methods they use to service these new users.

We now have the ability to create vast wireless networks in places where previously infrastructures were not cost effect.  These include rural areas, 3rd world countries and older architecture which was previously not cost effect to upgrade.  Additionally, nearly all new buildings are being supplied with built-in wireless routers and infrastructures.

With all this capability, users will soon demand the same reliability they are use to with fixed wired networks.  How will network management teams and IT departments handle this change?  Many sites could be miles away from the IT department.  It won’t be cost effective to send teams to the site to fix the problems.

IT ManagementAdditionally, there is a hugh influx of devices that can be attached to the network “on-demand.”  Once you distribute the wireless access key to your employees or customers, they can attach all kinds of devices to the network.  This can quickly become a management and security nightmare.

So what should a IT Manager do?

  • First, create a policy of who is responsible for each level of support for all these devices.  State specifics of what IT will be responsible for managing and what the user is responsible for maintaining.
  • Build a management solution that is flexible enough to handle the rapid changes on available devices to put on the network and their impact on network traffic patterns.  No one thought about IPads and Tablets being everywhere 6 years ago.  The next wave could be watches, smart devices you wear, or something beyond.
  • Security is critical and should be incorporated into your IT policy, not a side issue or dealt with by a distinct group that does not communicate with the rest of IT.

Remember with any new technology, there will be trade-offs.  Be open to new technologies and the benefits it can bring to you and your users.  That’s what makes this job so interesting.

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