When setting next year's budget, is your technology a priority?
It's always a good idea for businesses to take the opportunity to evaluate the remainder of their annual budgets, deciding whether it is time to spend more or less or keep things right on target. Whichever way your company is leaning, now is a great time to evaluate your business’ information technology needs in the context of spending or saving for the rest of the year or setting your new budget for next year.
If your business has more of its budget left over than planned, and you’re willing to spend, now is the ideal time to perform an overall evaluation of your company’s information technology structure. In the ever-changing field of information technology, there are always opportunities to improve your core business processes through the help of information technology.
Upgrading your Software and Hardware
There are many times when updating your software or IT equipment is necessary as systems become too out of date or support is ending. Your current system may not be at that phase yet, but it still could be holding back your business.
Think about the applications you are using to run your day-to-day business processes. Are you using the latest versions? Are there any recurring issues—even if they are not daily ones—that you encounter when trying to work through a typical process? If there are issues you are facing, it may be time to investigate whether your applications can be upgraded or even replaced with different ones. If you will eventually need something on a larger scale, such as an upgrade of server software, then you will have to consider compatibility of your applications to work in the most up-to-date system environments.
In terms of hardware, you can consider upgrades on both a larger and a smaller scale. If a few of your business’s users have been having issues with their workstation’s performance over the past year, now is an ideal time to take a further look to determine whether replacements are necessary. If your network is experiencing too many outages or your servers are too slow, it may be time to consider replacing some vital pieces of equipment. Purchasing of some bigger items certainly cannot be overnight decisions, but you can have initial conversations to figure out what options are on the table based on your budget.
Evaluating your Infrastructure
If your company is facing a larger issue such as a server being near the end of its life or applications that are not getting the job done, this can be seen as an opportune time to take a bigger picture look at your information technology as a whole. Do you want to upgrade your server? Is it time to consider virtualization or cloud options? Can you just upgrade your application or do you need something custom-designed to make your business run better? There is no simple answer to these questions as certain options may work better depending on each business unique needs.
If you are struggling to wrap your head around some of your business’ IT issues, it may be time for you to reach out to an expert if you haven’t done so already. There are many advantages to working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) on an IT support plan, not the least of which is proactive monitoring and planning services. They can recommend upgrades well before they become emergencies work with you to come up with target dates and estimates for any improvements your technology may need.