eWEEK Readers Prefer Wires To Wireless


You all prefer Ethernet and a deskphone to other communications means. Next: government cuts – how will you do your bit?

New technology? eWEEK readers can take it or leave it, it seems. Most of you seem to prefer Ethernet cables and your desk phone, to Wi-Fi and mobiles – at least when you are at your desk.

This week, we asked what is the most important channel of communication to your desk. Thirty nine percent of you said it was Ethernet that kept you connected, while 32 percent rated their deskphone as the top link. Wi-Fi made a strong showing at 20 percent, and the mobile phone was a poor fourth at seven percent.

You can trust cables

There’s one common factor of the two leaders. They both use physical cables. And in a crowded office environment, you can rely on those.

Whatever wireless companies like Aruba may do to upgrade their Wi-Fi networks to allow them to handle more mobile devices and more mobile data, it has so far not been enough to convince most of our readers to cut the cord and go mobile.

At the same time, the results underscored recent opinions that users are increasingly turning to data instead of voice. Ethernet won out over the deskphone, and Wi-Fi beat 3G (although 3G is of course a data channel too).

Despite this, one correspondent emphasised the “power of voice”, saying “people are just a phone call away”.

The “Other” category only got one percent of the votes this time, but we had some entertaining suggestions, including “a web radio”, and “an ejector seat”

How will IT help cut spending?

This time round, let’s turn to something altogether more gloomy. The UK government has announced massive cuts this week, in a bid to reduce the country’s public sector deficit.

We managed to find some rays of sunshine in the Critical Spending Review. Previously announced funding for rural broadband and for the Green Investment Bank will go ahead! But the overall picture was of gloom.

But no crisis can stop the public relations industry for long. Like everything else in the world, this one was rapidly turned into an opportunity, and a non-stop queue of flacks emailed and phoned us all day, before during and after the Chancellor’s speech to parliament about the critical spending review.

Every single one of them had ideas. Every single one of those ideas was transparently self-serving, and many were very dumb.

But each flack wanted to tell us how one company’s IT products could save the government’s bacon, by single-handedly slicing billions off the public sector bill. Which company would that be? Oh, yes. Your client. Of course.

Now, we field these calls, so you don’t have to, and if any of these pitches eventually convinces us, we’ll be sure to tell you. But in the meantime, maybe you could tell us what IT can really do to help. If you’re in public sector IT, tell us what you expect to be doing. And if you aren’t I’m sure your advice would be most welcome by those who are. Well maybe…

Could we save money by outsourcing? Offshoring? Or virtualising?

Should we cut a lot of the IT services which are planned? Or are the services you are working on vitally important in the bid to make efficiency? Should the government actually be looking to ramp up IT, with new efficiency-driving services?

Or should public sector IT take it like a man, and accept that it will have job cuts along with everyone else?

You may have other bright ideas, in which case email, comment them, or add them to the ‘Other’ field in the poll. As always, we await the enlightenment which only you, our readers, can give us.

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