Technology is constantly changing, and any time you upgrade your technology, you will heighten your business’s efficiency, productivity, and security. But what do you need to include in the budget and how much should you budget for?
Take a look at your...
How old are your computers? If they are several years old and performing slowly, it might be time to purchase new hardware. Take time to evaluate the hardware at your business. This includes all systems used in your business; desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Your hardware supports the network infrastructure within your business. This includes routers, switches, firewalls, and wireless access points. A good practice for businesses to get into the habit of is buying a few pieces of equipment each year to prevent having to replace everything at once. By doing this you will improve business performance, keep your employees happy, and control costs.
Costs to remember are the purchases of software licenses, upgrades, and renewals. Software plays a vital role in ensuring your hardware continues to work smoothly. What do you do when you get an “Updates Available” pop-up on your screen? Most people choose to push it off until the next day and it gets put on the back burner. Ignoring those updates will leave you and your business at risk of cyberattacks. When you allot space in your budget for Managed IT Services, you won’t have to worry about those pesky notifications. You can have peace of mind that all of the updates are automatically taken care of.
Protections and Security -
It is important for your business to have anti-virus protections in place. When you have the protections in place, you should look at reports for your anti-virus and operating system updates regularly. The reports allow you to see problems with certain machines or users, as well as any vulnerable PCs that are behind on updates. You can increase your network security by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all users. MFA creates a layered defense that will keep out unwanted individuals and protect your business from cybercrime.
Another layer of defense is a password manager. Keeper allows you to easily enforce strong passwords company wide. With only one password to remember, password managers securely store all of your passwords.
Supports and Maintenance -
We implement network solutions based on our customers’ needs and wants, and we bill accordingly — you won’t find monthly retainers here. As your immediate point of contact, our consultants will get to know you and your business, ultimately saving you time and money. Without a monthly support retainer, you are able to utilize our IT support and services as much or as little as needed.
A very important part of your data protection plan is understanding how much it will cost to keep your company up and running in case of a disaster or network attack. Be sure to test your backups as well. It will be critical to know if your backups can be restored and get your business running smoothly again. Taking precautions like this will minimize your costs in the case of a virus or other unexpected technology issues you could encounter in the future.
Delaying Upgrades/Replacements -
It might be easier to delay upgrades or replacements, but your technology is a long-term investment. Sure, delaying upgrades and replacements can save you money in the moment. However, that can lead to being at high risk with your security and performance. By ending the delay, you will optimize costs and save yourself from future headaches.
Rolling Over the Previous Budget Without an Audit -
Not taking the time to evaluate the budget from last year can hinder growth. Your business can go through many changes within a year. The best thing you can do for your business is to audit every aspect of your budget in order to know what you are really spending and where you need to make changes. Your technology needs will change from year to year. Did you use all the allotted money in the budget or is there somewhere you could place that money as an addition to the budget this year?
Neglecting Cybersecurity -
Cyberattacks happen constantly and without warning. We may not be able to avoid them, but we can protect against them! Your business should prioritize cybersecurity as a strategic investment that will pay dividends far beyond what you think. When you prepare your employees for cyberattacks, you are preventing your business from having unnecessary losses.
Technology budget planning can be a daunting task. However, with the right tools and assistance, it will be easier than ever. Our consultants are here to help you get on the right track as we head into the new year. Remember, IT shouldn’t be difficult. IT should be local. Give us a call or send us a message to start planning your technology budget for 2023!