By Sarah Foradori | July 25, 2016

Every week, you have more people using more mobile apps on more mobile devices and machines. Each tablet uses three times more Wi-Fi bandwidth than a smartphone. And the growing use of cloud-based applications drives a heavy traffic flow. With your current wireless network, how long will it be until you’re completely overloaded?

Heavy demands on your wireless LAN lead to bottlenecks. Users can’t access the data and apps at the speed they need it — or maybe not at all.

An outdated WLAN leads to sluggish connection, dead zones, and potential security threats. You can upload security patches, but at what point are you relying on a patchwork quilt to field the data and mobility that drives your business?

The investments you are making in new technology are not going to deliver a strong return when they are funneling through an obsolete wireless network. To maximize your ROI, start with the strength of the infrastructure itself.

Is it time to update your WLAN? Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do you have consistent connectivity throughout your workspace?

Your facility should provide seamless roaming, inside and out. Mobility is critical to efficiency, so if an employee is utilizing the wireless network and hits a dead zone, you have downtime.

Warehouses, yards, and distribution centers present a different challenge. The dynamic environment — with materials moving from place to place — can create interruptions in connectivity.

A heat-mapping analysis can identify dead zones in your coverage. It’s also a great way to start upgrading your WLAN.

2. Does your network support a wide range of devices?

Technology will continue to change. Different devices have different antenna strengths and receiver sensitivities. Some workers might be using BYOD technology, while others work with rugged, more powerful technology — like enterprise tablets, mobile computers, and barcode scanners. Those devices might also use both voice and data applications.

Lowry Solutions’ WLAN architects like to engage in visionary planning before diving into an infrastructure overhaul. For example, do you anticipate integrating RFID into your operation? Is machine-to-machine (M2M) in your future?

3. Do you have the IT resources to manage your current network?

An aging wireless network infrastructure demands more management by your IT staff. Between updating firmware and addressing employee complaints about dead zones, slow downloads, and all the other symptoms of an outdated wireless LAN, they are troubleshooting more than proactively guiding your network.

When you put your business in a more scalable, secure environment — like Zebra’s WiNG 5 with distributed architecture — you’ll discover that your technology works better, you have the real-time access you need, and your IT can spend more time looking for ways to leverage your newfound network strength for greater results.

Your WLAN is critical to the operational efficiency of your enterprise. You can’t afford to ignore it. When you’re ready to discuss your network challenges, talk to Lowry Solutions about doing a wireless site assessment.


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