Are you factoring in all technology categories when reviewing last year’s budget and building your annual budget for the coming year?
Technology is a key ingredient in any successful organization, but it’s easy to focus solely on routine services that keep the lights on. Forgetting critical technology needs can lead to missing important budget categories, leaving you scrambling when unanticipated expenses arise.
Keep reading to learn about three budget categories we often see forgotten — refreshes, projects and accidents/incidents — and how they can affect your organization.
Don’t forget these important budgeting categories
Ensure your organization has planned the resources it needs to thrive by investing the time to budget for the following categories. If you have left these out of your current budget plans, you might have to tweak your approach!
As your organization grows, you need to ensure your technology infrastructure can keep up. One method is to perform regular technological refreshes. This entails regularly upgrading your hardware and software.
While retaining legacy systems might seem like the easy option or more fiscally responsible, it can harm employee productivity and your bottom line. Outdated systems may fail without warning, leading to lost work or productivity loss while vendors scramble to obtain replacements. If your software security patches are outdated, you may even be vulnerable to hackers which can lead to significant headache and loss.
By regularly upgrading your technology and infrastructure, you can ensure your organization is always using the most up-to-date technology to minimize these risks.
It’s easy for a small organization to neglect critical IT projects, such as securing your networks, but it makes your organization open to potential attacks. For example, malicious actors can easily access your network if your staff use insecure Wi-Fi. Risks associated with free Wi-Fi hotspots include network compromise, evil twin attacks and exploits. The best way to avoid these incidents is to provide your entire workforce with certificate secured Wi-Fi and an MFA-integrated VPN work setup. This allows employees to connect to a secure network, in turn protecting your company from potential attacks.
In addition to projects to secure networks, we often see organizations looking to boost efficiencies through technology. Projects to implement new software designed to reduce time waste, better track internal processes or customer needs and future proof organizational growth are all worth considering at this time of year.
Accidents or incidents
When it comes to accidents or incidents, cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to take advantage of organizations. For example, in the case of a ransomware attack, a cybercriminal may demand a ransom in exchange for the decryption code, which could overwhelm you. The cost of responding to incidents is often a cost not considered in budgeting. While cyber liability policies can help mitigate this risk, consider contingency planning as you review your annual budgets.
As an example, without proper backup, you may have to shell out a ransom to avoid lossing data — and there is still no guarantee that you get your data back. This can be a reputational setback for your business in addition to an unforeseen cost. You can protect yourself against today’s sophisticated attacks by spending money to bolster your key technology defenses.
Involving the right people in your planning
Trying to reduce costs can be short sighted if important budget categories like these are skipped. Involving your IT service provider can help prevent this. We best know your technology, systems and networks and have a vested interest in your success. We can assist in identifying key areas where your organization may be overspending/underspending and aid in finding cost-effective technology solutions that are tailor fit for your organization.
In addition, we can also help keep track of your IT spending and budget to help ensure expenses are kept in-check and future planning items are not overlooked.
We’ve built an infographic “How to Budget for Your IT Needs” to assist you as you dig deeper into your IT budgeting, which can be downloaded by clicking here.