When new hardware is in short supply…


When new hardware is in short supply…


     In case you might have missed it, there’s a bit of a supply chain crisis going on nowadays. There are a number of different factors to be credited or blamed, and we won’t go into them here. However, there is no doubt that the challenges caused by this crisis have led to all sorts of shortages, from appliances to building materials to cars and…well…network gear too.

     See, there’s our hook. Yes, we’ve all seen prices shoot up, and hardware is no different when you can get it. So, how on Earth can you handle it? What can you do when new hardware is in short supply?

     There are a couple of options worth mentioning, and as with many things, the answer depends on where you are and what you are looking to do. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are a few thoughts on how to make the best of a challenging situation.

     Here’s one for those with budgets that need to get spent, or else see them shrink year over year. Some providers can’t ship all your gear right now, but you have money to spend, right? Yes, this will become a bigger topic toward the end of the year, as departments see how under or over budget they will be. But, here’s a great way to use some budget (and, quite frankly, great use of funding even when the hardware isn’t in short supply): training and professional development.

      Of course,  WiFi Training has a nice all-access pass that you and your team can leverage, which is a good investment on many levels. Spending on training, especially training you need, and will actually use, is never a bad idea. Leadership should want to encourage professional growth and development, ensuring the company has and can retain strong and savvy talent.

     And how does training help you when you can’t get new hardware? Well, there are new skills to learn (automation, anyone?). There are old skills to polish up. And, once you’ve learned or re-learned…you have your existing infrastructure to work on. Sure, maybe you are eyeing an upgrade to 6e…or perhaps you are biding your time for supply constraints to ease, so perhaps it’s waiting for WiFi 7. In any case, you have some APs out there, right now, and even a great deployment probably has some room for improvement. Environments change, a lot more often than the end-users care to tell us sometimes. Maybe learn up on WLAN surveys and walk your facilities again, finding some areas needing some TLC? Or, take a gander at WiFi QoS lessons or the WiFi Troubleshooting course…just to name a few.

     No, those don’t get you new hardware…but they can help breathe a bit of new life into your existing gear, and that can go a long way. A new survey might show you that, following pandemic-related measures, office space has changed, and now you need to deploy APs a little differently. Maybe you’re back in the office and people are having issues with fast roaming (there’s a class for that, too!).

     The courses keep you and your staff sharp, and they allow you to extend the life of your existing networks while negotiating any supply issues that may be impacting you. And, if you want to dive even deeper, give the team a ring, there is an entire professional services team available for engagements too!