For modern businesses, it’s becoming more and more important to think carefully about how to allocate your IT budget. In 2020, as cyber crime soars to an all-time high, not having an IT strategy or not working with a reliable IT service company could cause your business to tank at the hands of an expensive data breach.
On the other hand, if you plan your IT spending carefully and allocate it towards what matters most, you can protect your business from the cyber threats that it faces while gaining a competitive advantage.
Here’s where today’s businesses should be spending their IT dollars investing in an IT service company to ensure their infrastructure is prepared for the IT risks ahead:
Before you begin restrategizing your IT spending, you need to understand your IT’s current position. How are you using your digital resources? Is your infrastructure equipped to expand? What are your systems’ vulnerabilities?
Asking these questions first is critical to making sure you take the proper steps for reallocating funds where they’re needed most. For the harder-to-answer questions, it’s wise to get a professional risk assessment done by a Managed IT Services company so they can take stock of your infrastructure’s weak spots.
From there, determine which vulnerabilities need to be patched first. Keep in mind that cybersecurity is likely the area you’ll need to invest most of your budget in as cyber threats such as ransomware and phishing continue to evolve and become more advanced. A sophisticated cybersecurity defense is a must for any modern business, and it’s certainly worth the cost to invest in the latest protection to defend against potentially devastating security breaches.
The next step is to investigate whether any new services or technologies have hit the market since you last checked that might enhance business security or operations. Where possible, create a list of products that may improve your competitive position. Talk to an expert about what technologies are available and how they can increase security and efficiency within your workplace.
Just be aware that new services or software may not always help your business. Some technology may be incompatible with your current systems or just plain unnecessary, so be sure to consult a reliable IT company before investing in new hardware or software.
If your business goals are changing in 2020, so too should the way you allocate your IT budget. Ideally, you want an IT strategy that complements the overall objectives of your firm. For instance, if your firm plans on increasing the amount of information it stores, it makes sense to invest in cloud solutions, data backup, and recovery. Alternatively, if your strategy is to focus more on customer service, then your priorities might be implementing new CRM and using cloud infrastructure to communicate with customers anywhere, anytime.
No matter what your strategy, be sure to put cybersecurity at the top of the list. Any business that stores protected information needs to ensure that data is kept safe from access by unauthorized parties. Otherwise, you could face exorbitant ransomware fees, non-compliance fines, and the loss of customer trust.
The final stage is to begin investing in new services and systems that best match your business needs. IT is an enormous field, so where you put your money will depend on your industry, your projected goals, and the level of security you need.
Here are some of the IT services that have become particularly popular for modern businesses in recent years:
Network security, as mentioned, should be the top priority for small businesses going into 2020. With data more valuable than ever before, companies need IT systems that help keep their data secure and prevent it from getting into the wrong hands.
Many SMBs are therefore migrating their IT management to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) who oversees their entire infrastructure, from day-to-day maintenance to advanced cybersecurity defense implementation. MSPs have greater time and resources to dedicate to your IT, which provides a layer of professional security that you wouldn’t get in-house. MSPs continually monitor your network traffic and use a combination of human and software monitoring to identify and uncover threats.
If you decide to hire an MSP, budgeting is relatively straightforward. Usually, you’ll settle on a regular monthly fee with your service provider, and they’ll then provide you with the level of management you want. This can save you hundreds of dollars as compared to paying for an in-house team, as MSPs offer a team of IT specialists at around the cost of just one salaried employee.
Another of your strategies in 2020 may be to boost your business’s current disaster mitigation capacity. Small businesses can experience IT outages for all kinds of reasons: power cuts, cyberattacks, or hardware failures. But in 2020, there are several options for keeping downtime to a minimum and ensuring that if the worst does occur, your business is ready.
Moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud, for instance, makes you less reliant on in-house systems and servers (and thus, power to those systems). Data backup options ensure you have access to your data at all times and that in the event of an unforeseen disaster, your data is kept safe.
You might consider upping your disaster recovery plan by increasing the frequency of backups or using a third-party service to automate the process in the cloud. Cloud-based backup and recovery systems are dramatically faster and more affordable than their location-based counterparts.
Many small businesses are realizing they can lower their costs and get more flexible services by moving operations to the cloud.
Managed IT service companies offer third-party hosting options such as data center services that allow you to store data at an off-site center that is kept highly secure and guarantees great speed and reliability.
Once you have set your budget priorities and understand where you’re going to put your resources in the coming year, the next step is to talk to an expert and start investing.
At adNET Technology Management, we can help you meet your business needs in 2020 and in the years to come. Whether you’re looking for increased cybersecurity defense, cloud solutions, or data backup and recovery, we’re here to meet your every IT need.