CXOtoday Releases First Wireless Research Report

by CXOtoday Staff    Oct 12, 2004

To download the full report click here.

Research Summary

Going one step ahead in providing value-added content to technology managers, we have formulated our first research report to gauge the impact of wireless networks in the Indian enterprise space. The results of the survey threw up interesting surprises. While adoption of wireless is currently low among enterprise users, what is intriguing is the optimism shown by companies in investing in wireless in the coming financial year.

According to the findings, only 32% have currently deployed wireless solutions while a large 68% have not deployed any wireless solutions. In terms of importance, 32% rated it as important, while 34% rated it equally as low and moderate. But despite the fact that the technology being several years old, why has it failed to carve a space as much as its wired cousin?

Explains Ishwar Jha, vice president - business technology, Essel Group, “The culprit for this poor response to wireless are two pronged: First is the low penetration of laptops and other mobility devices and second, is the failure on the part of vendors in positioning the technology as supplementary to the office LAN.”

Defends Chidambara, senior manager - business development, Convergent Communications (India) Pvt Ltd, which caters to networking solutions, “WLANs are not alternatives to Wired LANs. They should be viewed as supplementary or complementary to wired LAN to provide mobility and flexibility especially to those organizations which have a fairly good laptop density and mobile users within its premises.”

Speaking about the ground realities, S Thiagaraja Manikandan, head-information technology, Agro Tech Foods Limited stated, “The reality staring at our face is that in order to become really big in India, wireless infrastructure must be able to replace the existing Ethernet infrastructure.”

Among the list of concerns, security without doubt tops the list, as evident by the statistics. 76% of the respondents rated security as the top concern, while for a meager 24% security is still not as big an issue.

Even cost got its due share of importance. 70% cited cost as a factor that served as a deterrent to deployment of wireless solutions, for 30% however, cost was insignificant. However, contrary to general perception prices have actually scaled down. Says Singh, “Prices have fallen by 80% in the last two years; today even small to medium enterprises can deploy wireless solutions. Agrees Chidambara, “Cost has drastically reduced by five to six times.”

Finally in terms of allocation of wireless in the IT budget, 20% of the respondents plan to allocate 5% to 10% of their IT budget to wireless, while 4% plan to allocate more than 10%.

Meanwhile, in terms of actual spending, while 19% is expected to spend very less on wireless, 6% plan to spend Rs 10-20 lakhs. On the upside, 25% plan to shell out Rs 20-30 lakhs, while a slim 6% plan to fork out Rs 50 lakhs.

If one goes by the numbers, the Indian wireless market may well be on its growth path, not without first addressing gnawing concerns of security and cost.

The respondents contacted for this survey belonged to the level of the CIOs, CTOs and the respective heads of IT, spanning diverse industry verticals, such as banking, manufacturing, media, to education, chemicals, etc.