With 2020 just around the corner, it’s important to start considering how your IT budget should be allocated to best suit your growing business needs. And with business technology becoming more prevalent and advanced than ever, it’s critical for any competitive business to determine how you will manage your entire IT infrastructure—including everything from maintenance to disaster recovery.
On the top of that list should be cybersecurity. Now that cyberattacks and malware are becoming more and more sophisticated, IT security needs to follow tighter precautions. If you don’t know where to start with your IT security in 2020, this information will help you to formulate a high level plan that protects your business from potential vulnerabilities.
1: Establish Your Baseline
As you begin crafting your 2020 IT budget, it’s important to think carefully about the stage you are at right now. Understanding where you are and where you need to be in the future will help you to tailor your budgeting plan accordingly. Have a clear understanding of your current organization’s business goals as well as the fleet of systems and applications you have in place to support those goals.
2: Research Trends
Next, you need to be aware of any upcoming trends in technology that might be useful for you to leverage in the new year. You won’t be able to finalize your budget if you aren’t aware of the options available to your company. Some of these solutions might include those related to cloud computing, security services, user training, analytics, and more.
New and improved IT technologies won’t necessarily be your ideal solution; you should always consult a professional before investing in new technology for your business. Purchasing new high-tech tools and systems will also be no good if you don’t have the budget to manage and support them. Be aware of the latest updates, but also be aware of the maintenance and ownership costs.
3: Develop a Strategy
If you haven’t already, you need to update your IT strategy to coincide with your 2020 goals. The IT plan for your business will explain how you plan on implementing your IT solutions over the coming years. As you know, technology changes quickly, so your disaster plans and cybersecurity protocols will be likely to change too.
Your strategy and plans will ultimately protect your business revenue and the reputation of your brand. Find a balance between your previous IT plans and upcoming changes to technology; be wary of changing too much too quickly.
4: Prioritize Investments
Here are some of the primary investments you may want to consider when it comes to reallocating your IT budget for the coming year to keep up with advancing technology and cyberthreats:
A serious consideration to make in the new year is a ransomware-specialized disaster recovery plan. Ransomware attacks can be detrimental to your business. If your disaster recovery plan has not been specially designed to protect your company from these types of attacks, you need to enhance it for 2020.
Your current DR plan might help you to overcome a power cut or emergency in your office, but ransomware recovery includes entirely different protocol. This type of attack may affect backup plans as well, so you may need to migrate to an alternative option or consider managed IT services to ensure your data is protected in the event of a malicious ransomware attack.
You may consider moving to a cloud-based disaster recovery system too, as this will help you to reduce your overall IT costs. Third party solutions are not connected to your business network; they are highly secure, and they actually provide much faster recovery than other traditional options. Disaster recovery as a service or DRAAS technology works for several businesses, no matter what size or type.
When it comes to cybersecurity, outsourcing is becoming more and more popular for businesses. Understanding where your cybersecurity vulnerabilities lie and how to properly monitor your systems for hidden threats can be challenging to say the least. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can dedicate the time and resources necessary to detect these threats and protect against them.
One of the biggest reasons MSPs are becoming a go-to option for most growing businesses is that cyberattacks—particularly ransomware—are becoming much more sophisticated. If you don’t regularly update your cybersecurity solutions and reallocate your budget to meet the needs of growing threats, your business’s data could be at risk.
Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is, therefore, crucial to your business’s success. One of the ways to enhance your cybersecurity beyond developing greater defenses against ransomware is to invest in protections against phishing attempts. Many cyberattacks stem from emails in the form of spam, fraud, and malicious attacks. By using advanced platforms to detect these attacks and training your employees to avoid them, your business can stay protected.
You might also want to invest in a threat intelligence subscription. This will provide you with real-time information that explains the potential threats to your company’s IT infrastructure. You will then be able to check your systems quickly so the problem doesn’t escalate any further.
Cloud Services and Subscriptions
If you’re thinking about transferring some of your computing to the cloud, it’s important to understand the benefits and costs associated. You will need to budget for the cost of the migration, managing of the cloud technology, and a monthly hosting service. Depending on the solution you choose, the costs might vary.
There are many advantages to moving to cloud-based solutions, but ultimately it depends on your business sector and size. It is definitely worth looking into cloud solutions that can save your business money in the long run—many modern businesses currently rely on cloud solutions for safe storage and backup of data or for core applications such as email or ERP solutions.
What to Do Now
As soon as you have carried out your risk assessment, you should be aware of the top priorities for budgeting your IT solutions in 2020. You may also need to conduct penetration tests in order to discover the downfalls in your current systems. Every year it is important to create a list of priorities so that you can stay protected.
As soon as you have addressed the individual priorities of your business, you will be able to accommodate your budget. High on the list this year is cybersecurity and disaster recovery, so make sure you allocate sufficient funds to these areas of your IT.