for the October 1999 Microsoft Enterprise site.
LANs-boon or boondoggle?
a rough estimator of whether wireless LANs are right for your organization.
Retail stores, warehouses, factories and other specific-task-oriented
workplaces have been the typical locations where a wireless LAN was an
appropriate solution to some vexing connectivity challenge. But not any
more. Thanks to improved technologies at lower cost, wireless LANs are
now a logical consideration for most general office networking.
Logical, but not a slam dunk. Client and workgroup transceiver costs still
exceed the cost of a wired implementation, at least when it comes to the
initial expenditure for hardware. However, the cost equation may tip in
the other direction once you include the costs of installing the cabling.
. .and reinstalling it each time a remove, add or change order is issued.
To help CIOs determine whether their organizations can profit from wireless
LANs, the Enterprise polled vendors, users and consultants, then converted
their observations into a series of questions. By taking the test on the
following screens, you will be able to determine if wireless LANs are
likely to be highly cost-effective, merely useful or a waste of time and
money for your business operation.
The questionnaire and formulas on the following
screens were developed with extensive input from vendors, users and
consultants. The Enterprise would like to thank Mack Sullivan of the Wireless
LAN Alliance, Greg Naderi of Frost & Sullivan and Stan Schatt of the Giga
Information Group for their contributions.
In particular, the Wireless LAN Alliance's Web site provided useful insights.
For more information about the opportunities and challenges of wireless
LANs, check out the Alliance's Web site, www.wlana.com.