An IT professional collaborates with a business owner on his new year IT budgeting & strategy

6 Steps for IT Budgeting & Planning for 2022

Information Technology (IT) planning was rarely at the top of any organization’s to-do list before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last year and a half, the rise of remote working arrangements has made it impossible not to spend on IT.

As organizations grapple with the larger questions of remote work and its future as they keep growing, IT planning is again at the forefront. To manage IT services in 2022, you must decide whether the interim solutions implemented by your organization at the outset of the pandemic will remain viable.

Do you need to make any major changes? Are there redundancies that can be eliminated, or new solutions that should be brought on board? What about the cost of these arrangements: are they sustainable in the long term?

These questions might seem daunting, but with careful planning and execution, your organization can ensure its IT budget is being put to good use.

Here are 6 pointers to consider when budgeting or planning for your IT strategy in 2022.

Take Stock of Your Organization’s Needs

Before anything else, it’s important to understand that the exact specifications of your IT budget will vary based on several factors, such as:

  • The size of your organization
  • The industry you’re in
  • Your geographic location
  • How much your organizations relies on tech
  • Whether you have an IT team in-house or outsource

Tailoring your IT budget to your organization’s specific needs is the most important factor in ensuring it’s headed towards success.

For example, larger organizations with more complex IT needs may require higher budgets to support their workforce of remote workers. On the other hand, smaller businesses might not need a large budget at all if they can partner with startups or freelancers for on-demand tech solutions.

Consulting with your professional network and IT vendors you’ve partnered with before is a great way to get ideas and information for your IT budget.

Let’s take a closer look at some decisions you’ll need to make when budgeting for your IT team in 2022.

Outsourcing or In-House?

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to outsource certain aspects of your IT operations or have an in-house team manage everything. This is an important decision to make because it impacts your tax planning, as well as your overall personnel strategy.

There are pros and cons to both choices: outsourcing can seem costly and daunting in the short term, but can save you money long term. Furthermore, it creates a partnership with a company that will constantly guide your technology needs in the right direction with 24/7 support & network monitoring.

In-house IT teams tend to have better communication with internal staff members, but they often lack the technology & expertise of a managed service provider, and require larger budgets to cover salaries and benefits for full-time employees.

In general, organizations that already have certain aspects of their operations done in-house will need an even greater percentage of their IT budget to pay in the event of a complex data breach or natural disaster.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Hardware?

Another important consideration when planning your 2022 IT budget is whether you need any new hardware in the coming years. As technology continues to improve, there will inevitably be more sophisticated and powerful software solutions that could increase productivity across your organization.

Make sure that your hardware is powerful enough to support the software and services you need. Additionally, ensure that it can be upgraded further down the line to keep up with emerging solutions in your industry.

Data Security is More Important than Ever

With more employees working remotely from their homes or on the go using mobile devices, cybersecurity has become a top priority for most organizations.

You’ll want to ensure your new IT budget and solutions incorporate security features like encryption and data masking that can keep sensitive information out of hackers’ hands.

Set aside a specific percentage of your budget for cybersecurity to ensure you’re prepared in the event of an attack.

Promoting cybersecurity among your employees is also important. Make sure they’re properly trained in how to spot and avoid potential threats to shore up your organization’s defenses.

Invest in Collaboration Tools for Remote Workers

Remote workers have become an integral part of many organizations’ business models today. It’s important to ensure they’re as productive as possible with technologies like video conferencing, messaging platforms, and cloud storage.

Make sure your IT budget includes funds for these tools to help keep remote workers connected and in sync with the rest of the company.

Monitor Your Subscriptions

IT departments rely on subscriptions to access software and tools that make their jobs easier. However, many forget to track them or underestimate how much they’re spending on subscriptions each month, especially on essentials like expense management solution software.

Taking the time to monitor your IT subscription costs can help you budget for future purchases more accurately while allowing you to cancel any services that aren’t providing value.

There’s a lively debate to be had about the relative merits of monthly vs. yearly subscriptions. Yearly models might make sense for larger organizations but monthly subscriptions are more agile, making them the better choice for smaller businesses.

Generally, yearly subscription models make sense only if you’re getting a massive discount for paying upfront.

Make sure your IT budget includes funds for monitoring the subscriptions that matter most to your organization’s day-to-day operations. This will help ensure they’re providing value, as well as allow you to cancel any services that aren’t providing value.

Consider Migrating to the Cloud

The benefits of migrating your data to the cloud are many: reduced costs, increased flexibility, and easier scalability. If your business isn’t in the cloud yet, it’s time to consider making the switch.

You don’t need a server room or other physical infrastructure; all you need is an internet connection. Additionally, if one of your offices isn’t functioning or has been compromised in some way, you can keep working remotely with minimal downtime.

Another major benefit is the ability to work from anywhere with a stable internet connection. With remote workers becoming more pervasive throughout all industries, this flexibility will only become more vital.

Even though there may be some drawbacks to a public cloud solution, partnering with a dedicated Managed Service Provider (MSP) that uses a private or hybrid cloud solution makes these concerns negligible.

These are just some of the important decisions you’ll need to make when planning your IT budget for 2022. By taking stock of your organization’s needs and consulting with a Managed IT Services provider, you can ensure that it is spent in a way that will give you maximum return on your IT investments.

If you want to get a Free IT Consultation and learn how you can receive Free Onboarding with Nerds Support before 2022, contact us today or call (786) 866-4683.

Business technology being held back due to rapid growth

How to Deal with Business IT Growing Pains

As many companies continue to expand and innovate their technology, there are also plenty others that have let their IT stay behind. They believe their IT assets never generated the kind of results they anticipated, and so are hesitant to adapt a true IT provider. When you look at the core reasons for technology investment failure as a business grows, there are a few areas you’ll notice where things go wrong.

Not Making IT a Priority

This is the top blunder SMB’s make. When concentrating on growing their company, the majority of SMB’s think marketing, sales and stock, however little of them take into consideration allocating resources in the direction of their technology.

IT is viewed as costly, and is hardly ever focused on, and any sort of expenditure on IT is often made reluctantly. However, as we have seen too often, sometimes companies wait until it’s too late to invest, either after their systems break down or they have a data breach.

Adopting the Most Modern Equipment…Even if it’s Not the Most Effective for You

This remains in comparison to the problem discussed earlier. Some SMB’s recognize the essential part IT plays in their organization’s excellence. However they tend to throw caution to the wind and purchase the most up to date IT fads without considering whether it fits their company’s needs, or even if they actually need it. In some cases it is simply a case of staying up to date with the times. Yet why invest so much on the fastest PC’s or most extensive hard disks when you get only small efficiency benefits?

Make Sure Your Team is on Your Side

When you bring in brand new modern technology and IT policies, it is your team that requires to deal with it every day. If your personnel does not share your technology views or ideas, your IT financial investment is expected to be unsuccessful. Therefore, before you initiate that transition coming from regional PC’s to the cloud, or turn out an innovative BYOD policy, ensure you have your staff in your corner.

How Do I Optimize my Infrastructure?

The appeal of brand-new technology is like a glossy, brand new plaything. Acquiring one thing well-liked and after that not using it to its own optimum is widespread. Make certain you make the most of your financial investment in IT through offering your personnel along with adequate instruction on just how to use it.

IT can appear difficult to grasp when you need to do it all on your own. It necessitates steep prices when taken care of in-house. Add to that the complicated task of deciding what IT expenditure you are going to gain the most benefit from, and then educating your staff to utilize it. A Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) possesses the expertise and know-how needed to become your reliable companion, as well as instruct you on these difficulties to maximize your IT investment.

Discovering the MSP that’s Right for You!

A lot of SMB’s opt for MSP’s who can easily handle their IT demands, and mostly, it functions effectively. Just about everybody understands the benefits of having a MSP handle your IT. Increased expense savings, capability to focus on your business without thinking about IT issues, expert IT support and knowledge, etc. Yet there are times when the managed IT solution design fails, leaving behind company managers to wonder what went wrong.

You Didn’t Check for References

Did you simply choose the initial MSP you discovered on a Google search? Did you simply decide based on the discussions you had with them, or the recognitions they share online? Always keep in mind to ask your MSP for endorsements. Consult with a person they collaborate with as well as obtain reviews.

Do They Have the Right Experience?

Prior to the decision of partnering with an MSP, see to it you focus on how long they have been in business. This is essential because the whole idea responsible for choosing an MSP is to effectively measure their knowledge and proficiency. Secondly, an IT provider that has resided in the industry for fairly some time is more probable to be capable to scale alongside you as you expand.

And lastly, solely having experience sometimes isn’t enough. You need an IT provider that truly knows the in’s and out’s of your industry, one that understands the data standards that your business needs to follow in order to avoid breaking compliance regulations.

Their Team Isn’t Big Enough

If your MSP is short on personnel, they won’t have the ability to provide you the care you require. Among the greatest conveniences of partnering with an MSP is having someone who proactively takes care of and also tracks your IT demands—something impossible to do without a complete IT division. Therefore, it is imperative that your MSP is well-staffed.

They Claim to be Responsive, But…

You desire your MSP support to be accessible 24/7, because you can never truly expect when a technology concern will inevitably occur. Not simply must your MSP be proactively checking your IT framework to make certain every little thing operates properly, they must likewise have the ability to settle IT problems as they turn up, to ensure that your service is back up-and-running immediately.

As Your Business Grows, So Do Your IT Needs

As your business grows, your IT infrastructure needs to be updated and improved. You might need to have far more support as well as new modern technologies that you failed to believe you will need to have earlier. In such instances, if your MSP is not able to expand and scale with you, then the partnership won’t function. When choosing an MSP, think of the whole method as an alliance, not just a single transaction. When you take a look at the connection as a long-lasting one, you are very likely to consider all the variables that make up your MSP’s relationship to allow it to operate in the future.

If you think your business needs help finding the right MSP that fits your industry or aren’t sure if you’re ready for the investment, contact us for IT consulting advice or call us and we’ll provide the best insight we can to guide your business towards technological success!

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