When approaching the end of the year, organizations work on their budgets, which include their IT needs, for the upcoming new year.
This is extremely important as the success of your business hinges on your IT functions – the processes and workflows that are the lifeblood of your company. You use IT to send and receive emails – to communicate with your customers, partners, vendors and employees on a daily basis.
Other imperative functions that depend on a strong IT platform include your accounting and financial applications for running reports and making important business decisions, and your customer relationship management (CRM) which includes vital information regarding your clients.
Items that you should consider when planning your IT budget include:
- Cloud readiness – Are there opportunities for your organization to move any or all of your IT to The Cloud? Are there advantages that you may be missing such as lowered costs, increased collaboration, and anytime, anywhere access to your files and applications?
- Email functionality – Is there an opportunity to increase your email storage and reliability, as well as remote access and mobility?
- Hardware end-of-life – The performance of all of your hardware, including PCs and laptops, printers, and servers, deteriorate over time. For example, you may not know it, but your servers’ performance deteriorates after 3-5 years. Additionally, your platform may still be using obsolete servers such as Windows Server 2003, in which Microsoft has announced end of support for in July 2015. Are your data, applications and networks at risk of crashing because of this? How reliable is your environment?
- Software renewals and upgrades – Not only do you need to renew your current licenses on an annual basis, you should evaluate when it is time to upgrade the applications you are currently using. You could benefit from improved features of upgraded software, or even from new and different applications that are more robust. Also, if you are using outdated and unsupported platforms such as Windows XP, which Microsoft has announced it no longer supports, you could be leaving your environment vulnerable to not only efficiency and performance issues, but also security attacks.
- Data backup and recovery – Does your organization have a Disaster Preparedness Plan? How prepared are you if you lose access to your data including ERP, CRM, email and your website? How long can you operate without certain IT functions, and how much productivity would you lose as well as lost revenue? How long would it take for you to recreate any lost data?
- Firewall and compliance requirements – How secure is your company’s valuable data? Are you ready for an audit of your data security should your industry regulators, customers, partners, vendors, or bank and investors, require one?
- Anti-virus protection – How protected is your system from threats and vulnerabilities? Everyday companies experience attacks from viruses, worms, bugs, malware and ransomware.
- Staffing and training – Do you need to hire additional IT staff to meet the demands of your IT needs? Does your IT budget also need to include raises and bonuses to keep the staff that you may have? Are you also accounting for ongoing training, examinations and certifications? Do you have gaps in your IT staff skill set which need to be closed with additional employees or by outsourcing? If you do have an in-house IT staff, has it become cost-prohibitive for you to sustain due to the number of employees you may need to manage all of your IT needs, and the broad knowledge they must have to support your IT functions?
- Strategic projects – If your business is growing – and your customer base and number of employees – do you need to plan for a larger, more robust environment to accommodate this growth? Do you also need to evaluate your current workflows to enhance and improve them because of expansion, requiring additional software purchases and integrations? Are you expanding into new markets, new locations, or possibly moving to a larger office?
Let NexusTek help you by making sure you are budgeting accordingly for your business needs.
NexusTek is a leading provider of Managed IT Services to hundreds of clients in the Greater Denver Metro Region, as well as across the state and the world. Our services allow our clients to focus on their business and core competencies while we take care of their technology needs. We also provide strategic consultation services in addition to planning and implementing CRM, ERP, and data backup & recovery, and business continuity solutions. For more information, please visit us at www.nexustek.com.