14 Jan 2014

Wi-Fi still has a way to go in business

While many organisations see the value in offering a Wi-Fi service to their customers, a Brennan IT poll has found that the pitfalls often outweigh the positives in the minds of many IT decision makers. According to the poll, 50% of respondents are offering Wi-Fi to their customers for free; 42% are offering it to customers with no strings attached, and 7% are offering it for free, but also using it to deliver advertising. For these organisations, the benefits around customer engagement are immense. “It’s a simple service that can mean a lot to customers and make them remember you,” one respondent wrote. “We treat our customers as guests and have seen no pitfalls from offering them Wi-Fi other than the extra IT support that was required initially,” said another. However, other companies have encountered significant pitfalls in offering guest WiFi, with a full 50% opting not to offer Wi-Fi to customers at all. When asked why, 75% of those respondents stated that it’s simply irrelevant to the business and customers don’t need Wi-Fi when visiting, while 50% also stated that there were technological challenges involved in Wi-Fi around resourcing, security, and management. “If it is not done securely it is an incredible risk to the business and we need to make a number of changes to our infrastructure to ensure that we can meet these requirements,” one respondent wrote. “We wouldn’t want to see our customers interfere with our internal network operations, so we’d need to go through a process of additional configuration,” another reported.