There’s been a huge sea change in how we work, how teaching and learning is delivered, and how services are accessed this year. In this context, we likely face changes to how organisations manage their network and wireless facilities.
Jisc is currently running a piece of research on the state of wireless networking in the UK education, research and public sectors – the Wireless Census – the results of which could help us explore how things have changed over the past 18 months, and where they’ve stayed the same.
We ran the Census last year and were able to capture a snapshot of members’ wireless implementation and usage. By repeating the survey, we’ll build on findings which allow organisations to benchmark against their sector as a whole. But we’ll also be able to explore how the landscape has changed in the past 18 months.
The headlines from last year:
- Wireless connectivity was a clear priority for education and public sector organisations. Wireless footprints within organisations were set to grow over the next five years, with WLAN staff resource developing to meet this need;
- On-site connectivity was considered extremely important to organisational requirements, with most also supporting visiting associates and members of the public;
- Perspectives on off-site connectivity were much more varied, and often associated with particular applications or collaborative projects;
- There was a marked interest in adopting new wireless technologies.
Some of these trends and priorities will continue. But what has changed – are wireless footprints and teams still set to grow, what new collaborations have come about, and what new technologies are being used? Would any organisation, for instance, now describe off-site connectivity as unimportant?
Survey results will be shared at an April event alongside relevant case studies and technical talks. Last year’s Wireless Mobility Day was a great forum for discussion, and we look forward to repeating it, albeit virtually. We’ll also publish an anonymised report for wider circulation.
The higher the response rate, and the more representative the sample, the more useful and reliable the results. Input from any education, research, or public sector organisation – from someone with the right strategic and technical view of the network – will help reveal pressing needs and emerging areas of focus. By sharing the eventual findings, we hope to support discussion around these changes, and what they mean for best practice going forward.