The essential Wi-Fi elements needed to fuel the success of a small business
For a small business, fast and effective Wi-Fi can provide a competitive edge, make employees more productive and encourage customers spend more time and money at a business.
The benefits apply for every form of small business from retail outfits, especially cafes and eateries, through to small office setting and start-ups.
As such, Wi-Fi adoption continues to mushroom. The global Wi-Fi market is expected to grow from US$5.96bn (£4.8bn) in 2017 to US$15.6bn (£12.5bn) by 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.2% during this period.
Customers expect Wi-Fi, employees need it, and small businesses view it as an essential element of their flourishing. So whether a small business is switching Wi-Fi providers, or installing Wi-Fi for the first time, there are some must-have functionalities which every Wi-Fi system has to provide.
Offering Wi-Fi to customers which fails to work, or only works sporadically, might be more damaging that not offering Wi-Fi at all. The same applies to employees, who are likely to experience more workplace frustration and dissatisfaction with an employer if the Wi-Fi is unreliable.
People expect Wi-Fi to work, so a small business must adopt Wi-Fi that “just works”. Designed with small businesses in mind, Aruba Instant On is a high-performance offering which has focused on reliability. This is aided by Aruba’s Smart Mesh technology, which enables Wi-Fi coverage in even hard to reach places, inside or outdoors.
This all means less Wi-Fi drop-outs, happier customers and more productive employees.
There are 5.7m SMEs in the UK, which have 250 or less employees, but 5.4m of these are micro-businesses with nine or less employees. These firms all have differing needs and goals to be facilitated by their Wi-Fi connection.
Retail businesses will be looking for Wi-Fi which can be easily configured for customer access, hospitality outfits will want Wi-Fi for guests which has a personal touch, while a professional office will need high density Wi-Fi with the best performance. This means that a business must adopt the Wi-Fi offering which is right for them.
Aruba’s Instant On offerings are designed with the individual nature of small businesses considered, with offerings to cover small, medium or large space. There are also indoor access points for enclosed businesses, outdoor access points which have weatherproof durability, and desk/wall access points with in-room wireless for businesses and home offices.
Easy-to-install (and manage)
When a business decides to adopt Wi-Fi, it also expects that system to be installed and then continually monitored with relative ease.
This expectation is spawn from the easy-of-use we have experienced when engaging with good Wi-Fi systems and applies from the moment a small business first gets its hands on its new Wi-Fi set-up.
Aruba boasts super-fast setup for small businesses – you power up the Aruba Instant On access point, download the Instant On mobile app to a phone and then just follow the steps in the app to configure employee and guest networks.
From there, the Instant On mobile app allows the business to monitor and manage the Wi-Fi network from anywhere, at any time (there is also a web version which provides the same functionality).
Security is an all-encompassing must-have for technology, but there are specific threats which can target a business Wi-Fi that must be considered.
Wi-Fi networks can be susceptible to a malicious attacker gaining access to the network to steal personal data or create rouge access points. This can impact network connectivity and cause an organisation’s systems to crash, but it could also have implications for users of the network, including guests or customers. If customers install malware or ransomware or are tricked into visiting phishing websites because of a network breach, they will place the blame on the firm and its network.
For Aruba Instant On, the access point products have built-in security that’s ideal for today’s business-ready apps and devices – no matter where you roam. Further to this there are automated software and security updates meaning the network is always safe and secure.
Many small businesses don’t want to stay that way forever – they want to become medium and large businesses eventually. Growth and scale are cornerstones of business success, so when a firm adopts a Wi-Fi system it will have these ambitions in mind.
The growth can be larger scale, such as doubling office space, or it can be more minor, such as a café adding an outside area. What’s important is that the business has adopted a Wi-Fi set-up which can provide scalability.
The Aruba Instant On product stable is broad enough that other access points can be added or enhanced as the requirement for a business to scale changes. This allows a small business to adopt Aruba Instant On safe in the knowledge their Wi-Fi network is ready to grow with them.