The importance of a robust IT infrastructure has become increasingly crucial, especially for small businesses striving to stay competitive. Midwest IT and C-Suite leaders should expect to increase their technology spend by about 6% in 2024 as they plan to meet current needs and anticipate growth, operational efficiency, and cybersecurity trends. To help guide the most effective use of resources, here are a few examples of how you can get the most out of your 2024 technology budget.
Right-size your licenses, hardware, and data storage needs. Right-sizing your licensing, equipment, and data storage needs is a strategic approach to optimize and maximize the efficiency of your technology budget. It involves a careful evaluation of your organization’s requirements and aligning them with the appropriate resources. Licensing, for instance, should be tailored to the actual usage of software to avoid unnecessary expenses on features or wasting money on unused user seats. Similarly, you need to be working on devices that meet the demands of your operations. Working on end-of-life, slow, or un-updated devices limits your resources and leaves you vulnerable to attack. Efficient data storage management is crucial as well; adopting scalable solutions allows for flexibility, ensuring that you only pay for the storage space you require. This tactic not only minimizes costs but also fosters agility and responsiveness, enabling your organization to adapt to changing technology landscapes while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Regularly reassessing and adjusting these elements will ensure that your technology investments remain aligned with your evolving business needs.
Invest in a strong cybersecurity posture. Cyber threats are evolving at an alarming pace, especially with wider access and proficiency with AI tools. As you plan budgets for next year, it is critical to approach cybersecurity as a business strategy. The consequences of insufficient cybersecurity are no longer merely financial but also encompass the very survival and reputation of your organization. While your cyber insurance may also be increasing, investing in proactive cybersecurity measures will help mitigate that rise (and keep you in compliance in case you need to make a claim). You need to have security awareness training for your staff, competent IT staff or partner to ensure updates are run immediately and backups are recent and tested, trusted and secure VPN for remote work, and next-generation antivirus and firewalls.
Take advantage of Section 179 tax benefits. Thanks to the “Section 179 Election” tax deduction, the Federal Government allows you to buy up to $1,000,000 in machinery, computers, software, infrastructure, or other tangible goods and REDUCE your taxable income on your current year’s tax return. Establishing a plan for upgrades or major projects upfront can help you negotiate better prices on software and equipment, saving you even more.
Consider outsourcing some (or all) of your IT to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). A full-service and experienced IT department adds significant overhead in tools and staff, particularly specialists with skills and tools that are really only needed part-time. An MSP provides an ongoing partnership that includes help desk support and other routine work to maintain your security, your backups, and your environment from a team of experts at a fraction of the cost of in-house IT. Pearl Solutions Group offers four levels of services to help you affordably right-size your partnership while you are under the constant care of our team of expert IT resources. One of those is our co-managed program where we come alongside your current team to take on what you cannot or do not want to manage to give you more efficient support and protection against turnover and downtime.