Have you ever considered what it would be like in your organization if there were no one to pay your employees or market and sell your services? Your business would not run like a well-oiled machine without those few critical departments working properly. Your organization may even fail without their existence. These departments are no more essential to getting business done than an IT department. Unfortunately, many business owners think they can effectively grow their company in our tech-driven society without hiring someone to maintain their technology.
Having the proper IT best practices in place is critical for a business today. Without it, your company and employees are susceptible to malicious attacks that can result in the severe loss of money and data. Customers today expect their financial data and personal information to remain safe when they complete a transaction with your organization. Data breaches are painful, expensive and far costlier than the cost of having an IT management process in place.
Neglect is Never Good
There are many aspects of doing business that are directly affected by a lack of a solid IT foundation. Below are some we think are both critical to the success of a business and ignored by organizations regularly.
- Maintaining an inventory of all your digital assets and their locations, so cybercriminals do not attack a system you are unaware exists.
- Keeping all software updated. Updates include operating systems, applications, and hardware.
- Backing up all data every day. Backups should include information on employee devices so you can restore encrypted data if it is attacked.
- Backing up all data and devices to a secure offsite cloud location.
- Segmenting your network so that all data is not located on one file share which is accessed by everyone in the company.
- Training staff on cybersecurity best practices like how to avoid email scams and email phishing scams by emphasizing that they should not open attachments or links from unknown sources. (You can start this now by downloading our Security Best Practices Poster)
- Developing a communication strategy to inform employees if a virus ever reaches the company network.
- Performing a threat analysis in communication with vendors to go over cybersecurity throughout the lifecycle of a device or application.
What is the Cost to Maintain IT?
All of the above vital IT practices are at risk in organizations without an IT department or vendor to maintain them. Unfortunately, not every organization has the budget allocated for a full IT department (even one person). According to Glassdoor.com, an IT Professional with a decent skillset is worth $50,000 - $80,000 annually and IT budgets are expected to grow in 2019 because of outdated infrastructure and the need to protect against new, serious cyber threats.
Most companies (89%) expect their IT budgets to grow or stay steady in 2019.
- The 2019 State of IT
Like many businesses today, your company may not be budgeting each year with IT in mind, but you can. While you may not have the resources for an IT budget, you may be reluctant to hire a full-time IT staff – or even one person for that matter. However, you should understand the importance and value of investing in maintaining equipment and protecting your data. This investment will extend the longevity of your equipment and help you avoid any potential information leaks.
Can You Afford to Budget for IT?
Fortunately, there are more cost-effective ways to manage your IT than hiring an IT department or a single “IT guy.” This method is called Managed IT Services. With Managed IT Services, as a business owner, you hire an outside IT firm such as Bit-Wizards to provide an entire IT department for your company’s IT needs. In some cases, Managed IT Services can cost as little as half the salary of a full-time dedicated IT Professional.
Small businesses are making significant increases to their hardware budgets while large enterprises are increasing their cloud budgets in 2019.
- The 2019 State of IT
Also, rather than solely viewing your yearly budget as an administrative process, try to think of it as a tool to reach your company’s IT goals. Use your budget to help prioritize your IT initiatives. Use your budget to validate that your monetary investment matches your vital priorities as a company. If you don't have a formal (or informal) IT strategy in place, the budgeting process is as good a place as any to start investigating in areas for improvement. This budget can be the cornerstone for a more strategic IT management game plan in the future. As you examine your IT budget for 2019, consider the cost of not having IT.
82% of government organizations across North America and Europe said they’re expanding IT budgets due to outdated IT infrastructure, which is significantly higher than in any other industry. This makes sense considering some government organizations, such as the National Health Service in the UK, pledged millions to improve and protect their infrastructure following cybersecurity attacks like WannaCry.
- The 2019 State of IT
Also, consider – can you afford to hire an IT person on your staff? If not, you may need to consider using a Managed IT Service provider like Bit-Wizards.
You didn't get into your line of work to own a computer, but today, technology is as essential to doing your job as protecting and maintaining your technology is. IT is far too critical to the success of your business to neglect it. If you don’t know where to start with your IT budget our Managed IT Services
can get you started in the right direction.