Don’t Artificially Limit Your Choices Over Hype

S. Schuchart

Summary Bullets:

• Hype can push IT into picking a trendy technology rather than the one that best suits the situation

• 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both great technologies, but shouldn’t be exclusive solutions

One of the big buzzwords in the last several years has been 5G. This technology has been so hyped that one would think it would change society in ways that will propel us instantly into some kind of Jetsons future. Part of that hype has also been around attacking Wi-Fi and setting up the conversation as 5G vs Wi-Fi. Providers of 5G, particularly private 5G, have a vested interest in making it an either/or decision. But absolutist views of 5G or even Wi-Fi for that matter miss the point and do a disservice to the enterprise customer.s

The technological advances in both 5G and in Wi-Fi 6 are sweeping and impressive. This leads to thoughts, particularly around 5G, that one technology could be so pervasive as to obviate the need for other technologies and achieve the IT dream of perfect uniformity. But the world is rarely that cut and dried, or easy. The truth is that enterprise use cases, from the corporate HQ, to the field, to the manufacturing floor, are so varied that blanket application of a single wireless technology for connectivity is simply not realistic. For that matter, assuming that wireless technology, regardless of the kind, is the answer is also not realistic.

Enterprise IT architects and buyers should resist being backed into a corner and to pick a single connectivity technology to use over all others. The technology that best suits the use case for a particular problem should be the one most considered. Uniformity is nice. It makes operations smoother, with consistent response, consistent configuration, and greater overall familiarity. But IT should not be thinking in terms of uniformity when it’s at the cost of business functions. Nor should industry or vendor hype drive IT decisions with a “don’t get left behind” kind of attitude. When the CEO asks, “What are we doing with 5G?” the responsible answer should be around considering it where it makes sense based on our company and end user needs.

IT needs to consider technologies like 5G, CBRS, and Wi-Fi as tools to be used in the right situation. Smart IT leaders will make sure that the technology matches the need regardless of the hype.


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