Interview: Nathan McGregor, Cradlepoint

Cradlepoint Australia Pty Ltd

Wednesday, 22 December, 2021


Interview: Nathan McGregor, Cradlepoint

How has Australia coped with COVID-induced changes to operations and workplaces? Will things go back to a ‘new normal’ in 2022?

COVID-19 forced organisations to transform in real time in order to continue operations. For many, fast and easy to deploy, agile, reliable and secure Wireless WAN (WWAN) connectivity met the need to serve distributed employees and customers in new places and in new ways.

IDC’s Future of Connectedness Survey1 found that 40% of enterprises want to improve their competitive position through speed and flexibility with 5G, SD-WAN and Wi-Fi 6 over the next 12–24 months, while nearly 35% aim to invest in technology that helps connect people, things, processes and applications. Wireless WAN provides enterprises with a fast and flexible network that extends connectivity to areas wires don’t easily go, or don’t go at all, enabling business transformation and success.

Which new technologies will reach critical mass and become dominant in 2022?

Organisations are trialling and investing in 5G connectivity to ensure they have the best tools available to adjust to changing conditions. 5G technology is fibre-fast and cellular simple, and has proven itself as a critical enabler in customer innovations and working remotely. We expect such use cases to continue to grow.

What is the major potential tech pain point that will face all organisations large and small in 2022?

Hybrid working is here to stay, and leaders must find a way to deliver an office experience from a reliability, security and I.T. management perspective, to a remote workforce. The key to enabling managed, secure and performant networks is deploying an I.T.-controlled router with dedicated WWAN and WLAN environments. Leveraging ‘corporate-owned’ 4G and 5G cellular connections offers universal and reliable WWAN connectivity to every employee’s home regardless of their home internet provider.

How can I.T. have a greater impact on organisational efficiency in 2022, and who (CEOs, CIOs) should lead the charge?

  1. Improved uptime means not only improved productivity but also increased confidence in the adoption of WWAN as primary and failover connectivity in more locations.
  2. Using WWAN significantly reduces WAN operating costs: Participants in a Nemertes analysis2 reduced staff dedicated to WAN by an average of 19%, and WAN staff spent 54% less time troubleshooting WAN issues.
  3. Cloud managed WWAN solutions provide the ability to preconfigure and centrally deploy, monitor, manage, analyse and troubleshoot connectivity and security for all locations — reducing truck rolls, people-hours and costly downtime.

While CEOs might set the business transformation strategy and revise company policy as to when and where people work, CIOs will design the infrastructure that enables these changes to happen.

What’s on your tech wish list from governments, innovators and the wider industry in 2022?

While LTE has been enabling businesses to leverage wireless and ‘cut-the-cord’ solutions for a while, the speed, intelligence and resiliency of next-generation 5G services is becoming a catalyst to Wireless WAN adoption. Not only does it make today’s applications better, but it will also enable a new generation of immersive customer experiences at the network edge, as well as more cost-effective SD-WAN 5G architectures, anywhere connectivity and high-speed wireless failover for larger sites.

Sources:

1. IDC, The Future of Connectedness: Technology Priorities for an Agile Enterprise, Doc #US48252821, September 2021

2. Nemertes Business Value Analysis, The Viability of a Wireless WAN for Business, December 2020

Nathan McGregor is the Senior Vice President, Sales for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region at Cradlepoint. Nathan has over 20 years’ leadership experience in the telecommunications and IT industry working for prominent companies, including Cisco Meraki, Hitachi, Juniper Networks, Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent.

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