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Technology Budgeting Tips for Small Businesses

technology consulting

The new year is fast approaching, and with that comes the responsibilities of year end reviews and reporting, as well as planning for next year’s budgeting cycles. Most businesses take the time to analyze their top priorities to keep the business stable and profitable for the upcoming year, which includes evaluating the product lifecycle of all equipment assets and licensing renewals ahead of time to avoid unexpected surprises.

Customers of ours also benefit from the guidance that we provide on what is next in line for upgrades/enhancements, due to various factors including age, budget, and relevancy to current business needs (be it growth or downsizing), and future goals of the business, among others.

It’s important for all businesses to have a well-defined IT budget since now more than ever, experiencing an outage in our current market’s unpredictability with supply chain issues cause thousands of dollars in productivity loss and profitability. Thus, the importance of planning ahead and replacing aging assets before they are lost.

This article will explore a few key initiatives to keep in mind with budgeting for your IT needs.

Assess, and Reassess Your Business Needs

Technology advancements are occurring rapidly, causing technology refreshes to be imperative for any company’s long-term success. Maybe you already have a budget from last year that you’re considering reusing. Rather than assuming that budget will meet next years demands, we urge you to reassess your businesses current objectives and how upgrades or migrations to a new platform could achieve those objectives.

Primary Areas to Improve

Most businesses will focus their improvements efforts in these four areas:

Routine Information Technology Services

Identify where your largest weaknesses are in your IT infrastructure to mitigate risks and prevent compromises. Malicious actors are always looking for vulnerabilities to target for a pathway into your network. 

Projects

IT projects usually don’t come at cheap price tag, and they are often implemented on a tight deadline due to neglecting the solution before becoming an emergency.

Technology Refreshes

Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to replacing aging assets and fragile artifacts will keep interruptions to your operations few and far between.

  • Keep the business operational from preventing fire drills for ordering replacements last minute and the time to get them deployed and implemented
  • Improve productivity by taking advantage of the enhancements that come with new technology (from faster internet to faster processing speed in newer computers)
  • Most important of all, security patches will be up to date, and easier to maintain as technology refreshes are implemented

Incident Response Planning

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the havoc that ransomware attack can deliver, whether it happened to someone you know well, maybe even your business, or an event you read about on the news. The reality is that no one is 100% safe from cybercriminals. The most critical action to take is having an incident response plan in place, and to gain even more confidence in that plan by testing its reliability. When planning your budget, put great attention on strengthening your cybersecurity posture.

A Managed Services Provider Might Be What You Need

The benefit of an IT service provider, specifically a Managed Service Provider (MSP), is that we are immersed day in and day out in the challenges faced by businesses of all sizes, and industries. With this knowledge and experience, we can quickly assess gaps in security and technology standards to more efficiently guide you in the right direction.

IT support has evolved into 3 different models:

  1. Internal
  2. External
  3. Hybrid

Internal Support

An internal support team is most common and can be made up of a team or just one individual on staff for your IT department. Enterprise businesses will have their own team of committed staff, whereas a small business might have just one or two.

External Support

This support structure has become more desirable for small businesses as it’s fully outsourced to a service provider like us, and saves time and money for the business to focus on their core objectives. The provider can support your business in numerous ways. In terms of business planning, they can assess your IT infrastructure to deliver a plan for budgeting decisions, providing advice on the best solutions for your individual needs, AND assisting with the implementation of your initiatives. Some external providers are more experienced in cybersecurity demands than others, so be sure to evaluate them closely on their modern security best practices.

Hybrid Support

This is also a common support model with today’s threat landscape. It combines an internal IT team that knows the environment intimately with an external IT team’s broad experience in both supporting diverse environments and incident response.

Whether you’re considering outsourcing your IT, or adopting a hybrid support model, knowing the right questions to ask are critical. Check out our blog on qualifying a managed service provider for tips on making a sound partnership decision.

If you’re ready to move the conversation forward, please consider reaching out to us for a free consultation.

About the author

Erin Gibbs

Erin Gibbs

Erin joined the SMIT Team in 2017. Her passion for technology and commitment to helping others inspired her career transition from Transportation Safety & Compliance into the Managed Services industry. With her unique blend of regulatory knowledge and tech-savvy skills, Erin plays a pivotal role in enhancing our team's capabilities and ensuring client satisfaction.

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