Many people now see Wi-Fi as an essential technology due to the convenience it brings, and recent research has indicated that the majority of UK SMBs share the same view.
A cross-sector survey by networking firm Netgear found that three quarters of 500 firms with between one and 250 employees see having a wireless network as critical to the running of their business, which rises to 84 per cent for those with more than 100 employees.
Of those surveyed, 74% cited increased productivity and the ability to improve customer service by 75%, while 67% said that it allowed them to keep up pace with the competition. BYOD also factored, with more than half (53%) indicating a reliance on wireless networks to connect an increasing number of employee and company-owned devices.
Despite the praise for Wi-Fi, the survey found that a third of firms have struggled to implement an effective and secure wireless service. Just under a third (31%) considered scrapping having a wireless network after suffering unreliable connectivity, and 33% feared that having a Wi-Fi network could invite as security breach.
The survey also unveiled a lack of knowledge around the implementation of Wi-Fi networks within existing IT infrastructure, with 25% of respondents not knowing how to do so, which rose to 35% for firms with more than 100 employees.