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____________________________________________________________ TechTarget: Since standards are still evolving, and some devices and products aren't available for purchase yet, how should companies approach their budgeting and planning? Should they be looking out five years? Redman: Certainly five years is a long time to spend planning your technology. I would say two to three years maximum. Evaluate your current needs and how they could be filled by existing technology. Then, look ahead to future technology needs for your applications. It's certainly worth having a vision and putting that vision down on paper, assessing what you'll need to get to reach that vision. Is it equipping all your stores with wireless LANs so that users can have Internet access to the store and you can offer competitive prices on your Web site? Or is it offering e-mail application capabilities? Perhaps it's looking at sales, where stores get crowded and you bring in mobile units serving customers wherever they are, not dependent on a fixed cash register. Or are you looking at an enterprise application -- extending your wired LAN to other offices, conference rooms, shared spaces, or to support temporary workers? Are you in a warehouse and looking to use a wireless LAN to record your inventory as trucks pull up to the parking lot? There's a plethora of applications out there, each with a different ROI and involving different variables. Each one has to be assessed independently.