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Nearly 50 Percent of Employees to Connect Exclusively Via Wi-Fi by 2020, IHS Markit Survey Says

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Cord cutting continues to gather steam in enterprises as employees become increasingly mobile

The transformation of the access network is in full swing, buoyed by fundamental changes in how people work, the devices they use and the adoption of new business processes centered around mobility and digital information, according to a study released by business information provider IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO).

Enterprises polled for the IHS Markit study, entitled WLAN Strategies and Vendor Leadership North American Enterprise Survey, expect that nearly half their employees will use Wi-Fi exclusively to access company networks by 2020.

“Businesses are transforming their workplaces into environments that are flexible and enable employee mobility,” said Matthias Machowinski, senior research director for enterprise networks at IHS Markit. “A key foundational element of these new workplaces is ubiquitous network connectivity. Companies are investing heavily in Wi-Fi so that employees can communicate and access information from anywhere to deliver a better experience for their customers.”

Security is a major concern for companies, as hacking has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry. When asked what changes they plan to make to their wireless local area network (WLAN) over the next 12 months, survey respondents ranked security as the number one change by a wide margin and the top reason to invest in new infrastructure. “Security breaches are not some obscure event — they affect millions of people,” Machowinski said. “Almost every week brings news of another major cybersecurity breach, and networks are a security concern because they could potentially give hackers access to sensitive information.”

Additional highlights from the survey:

  • Tablets are the number one type of device new to the network over the next year, followed closely by phones, primarily mobile; over a quarter of respondents plan to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the network;
  • Cloud apps have become the number three Wi-Fi traffic contributor, driven by new IT architectures and adoption of public cloud services and devices that rely on cloud connectivity for full functionality;
  • Seventy-seven percent of new access point deployments will be based on the forthcoming 802.11ax standard;
  • Cisco is perceived as the top WLAN manufacturer, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)/Aruba, which has made significant strides since its acquisition of Aruba.

About the survey

The WLAN Strategies and Vendor Leadership North American Enterprise Survey - 2018 analyzes the trends and assesses the needs of enterprises that buy WLAN equipment. The study covers devices deployed, traffic drivers, technology and spending plans, and enterprises' opinions of vendors.

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About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.

IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd. and/or its affiliates. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners © 2018 IHS Markit Ltd. All rights reserved.

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