You more than likely have so much to do that you don’t know where to begin, especially when it comes to your IT. Well, if you feel that way, then you definitely aren’t alone.
The start of a new financial year is upon us and it’s a busy time for all. It is also the time where all aspects of a business go under the microscope to look for any possible improvements or changes that may need to be made. Your IT and systems should be no different, and in fact are arguably one of the most important aspects of your business.
With strides in IT being made so often, it can be difficult for a business to keep up with their systems. It’s a bigger problem than you might initially think, with business finding themselves unsure of what to upgrade or what service they should consider next.
If you’re not sure what to look for, then keep reading, as this list contains 5 IT areas you should look at to help improve your business this financial year. These tips will help you to save money, increase productivity and ensure that your systems are running at their best.
Think about your security
Security is one of the most important aspects of any business, but it is unfortunately also one of the most overlooked. This is a busy time of year for all, so more often than not security is pushed to the back of the to do list.
So why is it worth looking at?
It’s easy to think that it won’t happen to us. However, with a cyber-attack taking place approximately every 39 seconds, there has never been a more pivotal reason to consider looking over your systems. If that wasn’t shocking enough, nearly 77% of companies don’t have a cyber security incident response plan in place, leaving them extremely vulnerable if something were to go wrong.
Unfortunately, threat actors are becoming more advanced and harder to spot with each passing year, exploiting old or weak security processes in order to gain access to your systems and information. No one wants to tell their clients that they’ve had a breach, so what can you possibly do to be proactive with your business?
An audit on your systems is one such way to determine the strength of your systems and find areas for improvement. If you have one, your IT provider is able to do this for you, working with you to upgrade and support your systems, as well decrease the risk of an attack occurring. Of course, there are other options, but frequent audits are a great way to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
If you haven’t thought about your security systems before or would like to, now is the time to consider how you can take the initiative and keep your business safe.
Software and systems upgrade
There’s nothing worse than using old and outdated software or systems that constantly crash on you or. If you are reading this and thinking “that’s me” then it may be time for an upgrade of your software, systems or perhaps even both.
At first glance it may not seem like software and systems spending has much of an impact on IT budgets. The truth is, it makes up 29% of total IT budget allocation for 2020, meaning nearly a third of total spend for the year. Out of this 30%, 11% of that is spent on industry specific apps, and 33% of budgets are spent on hardware. Of course, this isn’t the only driving force behind businesses choosing to upgrade, however.
And while there are many positives associated with choosing to upgrade, there are many downsides that come with choosing to not. Businesses may not initially see the value in an upgrade, which can have unfortunate results as a consequence. Some of these may include:
- Decreased productivity
- Increased costs
- Possibility of compliancy risks
- Issues with security
Sometimes however, upgrading is about growth and new opportunities for your business. Software as a service (Saas) such as Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 are popular choices for upgrading, usually from Office plans.
These are seen as the next step up for businesses looking to upgrade, and for good reason. We can’t recommend them enough for your business, so if you are looking to go bigger and better, this is the direction for you.
Consider managed IT services
IT needs are constantly changing and evolving as technology shifts and advances, and to reflect this, so do managed service providers. For example, remote working, cloud-based telephony and conferencing are some of the strongest initiatives to come out of this year, largely due to COVID-19 impacting how businesses operate. As such, it can be difficult for a business to keep up with the constant changes or know how to effectively implement them on their own.
The great news is, businesses are now looking at their IT systems as an advantage, seeing them as the solution to keeping up with the shifts within their industry and as a way to remain competitive.
Having an IT company oversee your systems for you has many benefits can allow you to increase productivity, reduce costs and more effectively serve clients by providing better value across the board.
This is just one of the reasons that now more than ever, managed IT services are becoming more popular as we move into new, uncertain times. 15% of IT budgets are now going toward managed services, and within that, managed hosting, managed hardware support and managed storage/backup take the largest pieces of the pie.
The start of a new financial year isn’t all just about stock takes, super and taxes, it’s also a time to reconfigure your budgets and decide where your IT spend will be distributed over the next year for maximum impact.
Planning your IT systems for the future
We all know that IT business planning is one of the key drivers for success, but it can be a time consuming and difficult process. But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
Virtual CIO’s are strategists with experience in long term IT planning for businesses. They work with you and your budget to provide long term solutions and goals using IT, to effectively drive your business forward.
They say that the best strategies are formed with a solid IT foundation, and there are still many businesses out there that are learning that there is a truth behind those words. Only 29% of IT leaders say that their organisations have effective IT strategy and planning in place. These strategies have key benefits that may not seem completely obvious at first but are pivotal to business success. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduce risk to your business
- Prepared in the case of disaster
- Strong strategic direction
- Aid you in a migration
- Make strategic improvements to your IT infrastructure
- Keep your business up to speed with the tech industry
To solidify the importance of IT planning, have a read of this quote Brad Strock, former CIO of PayPal on planning and IT related strategies:
“Given the growing importance of technology in every business, technology organisations must have clear strategic direction and priorities that are closely linked to business strategy.”Brad Strock, former CIO of PayPal
Especially with the new financial year right on our doorsteps, this is the time to consider your plan for the next year and even further beyond to ensure that your business is ready for anything.
Contact your IT provider
The best and most effective plan of action you can take is to contact your IT provider, as they are your first point of contact and they know your systems best. Not only are they able to help you with your specific current systems, but they are able to help you focus on all the above mentioned in this article.
This is the time of year where changes take place in all areas of a business, but especially in regards to IT. Your IT providers are there to support your business with all things tech and maximise potential where possible.
If you don’t currently have an IT provider and are looking to find one that works with your business, then InfoTech Solutions is here to help. We don’t like to toot our own horn, but with over 20 years in the industry, we have the know how and the experience to back up our claims. We work with businesses like yours every day to help them reach their potential through their IT systems.
Ready to start the new year off on the right foot? Contact us today and let us help your business reach its goals with our personalised consultations.
Call (07) 3390 8833 or email us at email@example.com