It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options available today. Where to eat, where to shop, what service providers to use and what technology solutions are needed to keep businesses running smoothly. IT departments spend time carefully choosing the right solution for their particular business and are beholden to executive teams if they choose incorrectly. If you’re in the middle of making a choice for your business Wi-Fi solution, consider these four questions as you’re evaluating options:
1. How am I going to manage the Wi-Fi solution on a daily basis?
We’re all looking to simplify our lives, and managing technology solutions are no exception. I recommend looking for a Wi-Fi solution that offers richer visibility into your network while simultaneously organizing the data for you so you don’t go into information overload. A single dashboard that provides visibility into network users, their devices and the applications they’re using is a benefit offered by some vendors. Now you can tell executives not only how many people are using the network daily at each branch location, but how many of those people are repeat customers and their traffic patterns. You can certainly do most of this today by aggregating information from different tools, but having all of this data in one place can save you a lot of time.
2. How easy is it to set up my solution?
One of the biggest issues with buying a brand-new technology solution can be the initial set up. When considering Wi-Fi solutions, I can’t stress enough how important it is to look at the set-up process. It’s not something you’ll deal with on an ongoing basis, but installs wreak havoc with IT teams, especially if you’re short staffed. Depending on your company size and number of locations, a fully managed Wi-Fi solution may be an option to consider. If you have a small footprint, say five locations or fewer, I would look for plug-and-play options. If you’re dealing with multiple locations and you can’t have resources at every location for the installation, it helps to have a simplified experience and resources for office admins or location owners to leverage. At the end of the day, installs are always going to take up some of your time but it doesn’t need to take an entire week or even a whole day.
3. Is it a secure solution?
Security is always one of the top considerations. We hear about breaches around the world every day. So naturally, some of the most important questions to ask when it comes to evaluating any technology centers on the security components of the solution. A Wi-Fi solution that offers network segmentation between guests and employees is essential. Paired with an easy-to-use dashboard, you’ll be able to detect and resolve threats quicker, but you’re also able to keep the infected guest separated from your employee network.
4. What other services can you get with a Wi-Fi solution?
Okay, so you’ve looked at daily management, installation and security. Now you should consider what added benefits come with the solution. Some network providers now offer Wi-Fi solutions with their services. This can simplify your day-to-day since you won’t have to troubleshoot or deal with invoicing from multiple providers.
Ultimately, the Wi-Fi solution you choose is going to be based on the needs of your business, but asking yourself these four questions can save you some time in the long run.