These days, most workers need to be as efficient as possible when it comes to their time management, particularly with many employees working on the go.
This means that people expect to have access to reliable and fast Wi-Fi wherever they are, from shopping centres to restaurants to reception areas. In fact, for many organisations and businesses, offering their guests and visitors free Wi-Fi has become standard practice, rather than an added bonus.
According to the 2019 PwC Irish Retail & Consumer report, over a quarter of Irish consumers stated that having in-store Wi-Fi would significantly improve their shopping experience in a store.
And more recently, a November 2021 survey by the same organisation showed that in-store shopping has recovered in Ireland, with nearly half (45%) of Irish consumers visiting a physical store at least once a week. Having the ability to swiftly compare online prices to in-store prices using free Wi-Fi will certainly ensure that consumers stay in store for longer and be more likely to make a purchase.
However, while the provision of free Wi-Fi to business visitors can have a positive impact on the customer experience, there are some negative factors to consider. This is where having Managed Wi-Fi can help overcome these challenges.
What is a Managed Wi-Fi Network?
A Managed Wi-Fi network is an outsourced wireless network installed in a business’s premises that allows guests and visitors to connect to the internet via multiple access points. This network uses cloud-based technology and the business’s Wi-Fi can be managed and controlled remotely by the provider, meaning any troubleshooting can be quickly rectified.
This is hugely beneficial for businesses as it eliminates the need to have an onsite IT department to manage the building’s Wi-Fi network.
What is an Unmanaged Wi-Fi Network?
An unmanaged Wi-Fi network is one where the business takes on the responsibility of preparing their own Wi-Fi network through one single entry point.
This type of network typically has lower bandwidth and slower speeds, with limitations on how many devices can be connected at the same time. Furthermore, having an onsite IT department to manage, control, troubleshoot, track and secure the network is usually an essential requirement.
This option can prove to be quite costly in the long run for businesses, particularly when factors such as productivity, scalability, loss of network, and maintaining on-site IT departments are taken into consideration.
What are the benefits of having a Managed Wi-Fi Network?
Prioritise critical systems
Every business will have different systems that require Wi-Fi to function. Some of these systems will be essential for the running of the business, so it’s important for these to get priority within the Wi-Fi network.
By having a managed Wi-Fi network in place, there’s greater control to ensure that the most business-critical systems, such as credit card terminals, voice applications and data applications, are given Wi-Fi priority over other non-essential systems and devices.
Eliminate Wi-Fi black spots
The last thing any business wants is to encounter Wi-Fi black spots and slow connections that can drastically affect the productivity of the business and its employees. With a Managed Wi-Fi Network, any issues with network coverage can be both diagnosed and fixed remotely by the internet provider.
Furthermore, because every business has different requirements and specifications, a Managed Wi-Fi Network can be tailored to ensure that every inch of the building or office space has coverage. There is also the flexibility to scale up or down on the network’s coverage as required.
Avoid data breaches
With cyber-attacks on the rise, the threat of a security breach is ever-present as hackers target small and medium businesses in an attempt to steal valuable information and data.
Managed Wi-Fi is considered a better option than an internal IT department because it allows businesses to outsource this aspect to trained professionals who are experts at setting up the most secure networks and administrative controls. They can also identify any potential attacks and breaches before any damage is done to the business.
In the event of a crisis that sees a business having to relocate to a new location, the priority is to get things back up and running as efficiently as possible.
With a cloud-based Managed Wi-Fi Network, the internet provider will have an experienced technical support team that can work quickly and remotely to deploy a new network in a different location. This option allows Wi-Fi devices such as credit card machines to be fully operational as normal with minimal disruption to the business.
Having a Managed Wi-Fi Network is more cost-effective for a business in the long run. First of all, an internet provider will be in a position to offer businesses the use of the most up-to-date wireless technology, including the latest cyber security technology.
As well as this, choosing the option of Managed Wi-Fi again eliminates the need for an on-site IT department within a business or organisation, and any issues can be resolved remotely by the support team of the internet provider.
Separate networks for the business and guests
With the ongoing threat of cyber-attacks, it’s important to take every precaution in preventing unauthorised access to a business’ network. Choosing a Managed Wi-Fi Network enables the company to maintain separate networks for the business, employees and any guests or customers. This will reduce the risk of any viruses finding their way into the business network through guests’ or employees’ personal devices.
Having a Managed Wi-Fi Network is undoubtedly a safer, more cost-effective and flexible choice that meets the core needs of a business in an ever-changing world. It allows the business to focus on what they do best, leaving cyber security and Wi-Fi solutions in the safe hands of a dedicated and experienced provider, who can resolve any issues immediately and remotely.
Here is where One Contact can help. Currently operating wireless networks with tens of thousands of daily users, our team has unbeatable wireless design skills, years of experience in radio planning, and specialise in taking a failing Wi-Fi network and turning it around into a reliable, productive tool for any business.
Get in touch today to establish a strong, secure and stable Managed Wi-Fi network for your business.