Most of us have seen the modernised version of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that did the rounds a few years ago - you know the one with WiFi inserted at the base of the pyramid? It made me chuckle.
I'm a big fan of Maslow's Hierachy and if by some chance you aren't already familiar with it, i'd strongly recommend looking it up and reading it.
(Image source here)
I had a chuckle and moved on when I first saw this revised pyramid, thought to myself "you know that’s not far wrong…" and moved on. But the other day I had cause to reflect a little deeper. In the space of one week I had spoken with two clients with very differing views around the necessity of wired and wireless networks.
Both clients rely on IT to conduct their businesses and both were convinced of the value of the cloud and were looking to leverage the flexibility and agility that it offers.
The first was a software development firm looking to move offices. In building their infrastructure they had happily poured money into first class internet connectivity which allowed them to avoid any on-premise server infrastructure. So far so conventional for the modern business - I had to say I was surprised when they insisted in exclusively wireless connectivity however throughout their new offices, eschewing traditional structured data cabling.
Even with high-quality wireless solutions I thought this brave, but as we began to understand how they intended to use their space it became clear that any wired connectivity we put in place would go largely unused. And so we built a cloud managed enterprise grade wireless solution using Cisco Meraki.
My second client was an established and much respected accountancy firm of similar headcount. They were looking to build a roadmap for the continuing development of their IT Infrastructure - as mentioned before embracing cloud based solutions such as Microsoft Office365. Sadly budgetary considerations, geography and line of business applications conspired to hinder deployment of a pure cloud solution in this instance and some on-premise hardware was likely to be required. However surely uprating of the troublesome wireless system would make sense, especially given the coverage challenges they presently experienced. However for the partners here the work style was so structured around the individual office and the desk it became clear wireless just wasn’t a priority at all!
So much for the revised Maslow's Hierarchy - just shows that no two businesses are alike and for one WiFi is almost a physiological need whilst for another its something to do when attaining self-actualization.