Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, has launched its inaugural Asia-Pacific (APAC) State of Wi-Fi Survey, which revealed the average cost to a business from connectivity downtime in Australia was AU$68,332 over the past 12 months.
This cost equates to an average of $4,020 lost per hour.
The survey found connectivity downtime has impacted the bottom line of business operations in APAC to the tune of $70.5 million over the past year.
Almost all (98%) of Australian businesses experienced at least one downtime incident per month, and 43% of these experienced between 2-5 instances of connectivity downtime.
Over half (57%) of Australian businesses had an average connectivity downtime of at least over one hour.
This is a huge concern considering Australia is one of the top three markets in APAC that rely on and connect to Wi-Fi at work all the time (Japan: 64%; Singapore: 57%; Australia: 56%).
Over one-third (35%) of Australian organisations need to spend more than one working week (five days) each month to manage Wi-Fi or network-related issues.
This diverts time and resources away from the IT department, preventing them from implementing new initiatives that could instead help drive and deliver new digital products, services, and revenue models.
Besides the loss of productivity, connectivity downtime and other network-related issues might also be undermining organisations’ ability to push out new digital innovations and transform themselves.
“Wi-Fi is the foundation of Australia’s burgeoning digital economy. Not only is it a productivity tool to empower employees to work and collaborate better, it is also a platform that enables organisations to interact directly with their customers,” says Ruckus Networks Australia & New Zealand country manager Carl Jefferys.
“Wi-Fi is often forgotten as the one instrumental element that breathes life to new digital initiatives and pushes growth opportunities in today’s dynamic and competitive digital era. For example, Wi-Fi infrastructure is also the basis for a range of other radio frequency technologies used in the internet of things (IoT) applications. Understanding that Wi-Fi is indeed the backbone of digital transformation efforts will mitigate significant disruption, and in turn, losses in revenue."
A growing appetite to use Wi-Fi outside of basic productivity tasks is a key driver in the role a high-speed and reliable connection plays in today’s Wi-Fi user experience.
More than half (53%) of Australian business and IT leaders are either using streaming videos and voice calls through Wi-Fi at work.
In an effort to reach maximum productivity levels, the majority (57%) of Australians carry between 1-3 Wi-Fi capable devices; this included smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smartwatches.
Though Wi-Fi has become an integral part of the workplace, almost 3 in 4 (73%) still cite slow connection speed as the top concern, followed by connectivity dropouts (65%) and the difficulty in accessing the network (61%).
Reassuringly, Australians have the best Wi-Fi/connectivity experience either at home (77%) or work (75%), where they access Wi-Fi the most.
However, there is considerable room for improvement with public Wi-Fi.
In fact, only one in four (26%) of Australians claim to have a good experience with public Wi-Fi.
As a result, just 7% of users connect to public Wi-Fi all the time - this presents a significant gap that needs to be improved before a truly mobile workforce can be realised.
According to the Study, almost all respondents (97%) are satisfied with the current state of Wi-Fi security in their organisations, indicating a moderate level of confidence in their organisations’ Wi-Fi security posture.
However, close to one in five (19%) of APAC respondents indicated that they have an open Wi-Fi network with no secure login measures. In Australia, this is on par (20%).
When it comes to connecting to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks, business and IT leaders are more vigilant and security concerns become the top concerns for them.
Approximately four in five (83%) APAC respondents indicated insecure connection as one of the top three concerns they have when connecting to public Wi-Fi.