Budgeting for 2023 is now well underway for most companies. With looming recessions concerns, increases to costs due to supply shortages and transitioning back to the office, it’s not a secret: many businesses are looking at every line item strategically to ensure no dollar goes unwasted.
No matter the size of your business, having a spot in your budget for technology and cybersecurity is critical, especially as many businesses embrace the hybrid model and strive to stay protected in an ever-changing threat-landscape.
Here are a few of the top things you need to consider in 2023 when building out your strategic technology budget:
The Evolving Cybersecurity Landscape
Cybersecurity threats will continue to evolve, and new trends will emerge in 2023. Experts predict that while many tried-and-true tactics resulting in a quick payday for cybercriminals will still occur, there will be an influx of new attack emerging. Some of these trends included Machine Learning to recruit cybercriminals and additional attack vectors made available on the dark web.
Unsure just as to what is even on the dark web? Our partner, Huntress, did a deep dive recently and they found everything from credit card data, FAQ’s for stolen PayPal accounts, and even a Cyber Criminal University.
The truth is, in a world that has endless opportunities creates endless opportunities for hackers as well. To stay ahead, companies MUST invest in cybersecurity solutions immediately. Whether you hire an internal partner, or you work with an external expert to build out a cybersecurity framework, it’s important to consider this an ongoing investment, as the risks are evolving. Working with an expert can significantly reduce your risk of falling victim to an attack.
You should also look to incorporate cybersecurity training so your team has the most up-to-date knowledge, giving them the tools to recognize threats and protect themselves and your business from a cybersecurity incident. Another way to stay safe and prevent attacks is by implementing Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solutions. MDR allows businesses to detect threats and respond to them immediately, to isolate an attack and stop it from spreading.
Addressing Cybersecurity and Compliance Requirements
Many industries have cybersecurity and compliance requirements that businesses must adhere to. These are often requirements set forth by agencies, or authority groups. To ensure you are compliant make sure you are addressing your industry needs. Here are a few resources that can help you get started:
Improved Processes to Save Money
The reality is, the 2023 economic outlook for most of the world is less than ideal. To survive, businesses will need to look at their current processes and improve them any way they can to stay ahead of rising costs, labor shortages, and supply chain issues. A quick win? Look at all your licensing to ensure you aren’t overpaying for any unused licenses. It’s amazing how quickly extra users get added and forgotten to your accounts, meaning dollars are being spent unnecessarily.
Another way you to potentially manage costs is to evaluate working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). MSPs continuously look at new technologies to deploy and help you fill your gaps between standard operating procedures and emerging technologies. They want to make sure your investments are strategic and are always looking to help you active your business goals in the future. Also, with per user pricing, agreements scale with your business – whether your business is in a growth phase or needs to take a step back. A dedicated technology partner will ensure you have the right technology, policies, and processes in place to move forward.
Return to work and setting the office up for the hybrid work environment
As businesses prepare for the return to work there are many considerations companies need to take when evaluating what will work best for their environment. With over 50% of employees saying they want to continue to work from home, leaders will need to make it enticing for staff to want to return. This number also indicates that the hybrid environment will be around for a while and choosing the right technology to enable hybrid work will be important. Having spaces to allow employees to meet both in person and requires strategic planning with the ultimate goal of making the experience equitable and productive for everyone.
Planning and encouraging opportunities for team members to connect can be one of the best ways to help people build relationships with one another and make it more enjoyable for them to come into the office. Consider having an interaction day once a week where interested team members can come to the office and work together and plan a team lunch or coffee break to encourage informal interaction. For remote employees look to schedule a weekly 15-minute coffee talk or “water cooler” break for people to get to know one another.
The hybrid work environment requires more coordination than most people initially expect. To help with this consider investing in a desk scheduling platform such as Skedda, or Envoy. Solutions like this embrace a flexible workplace and allow team members to book out a desk to collaborate on-site. In many instances departments can even book out desks for a day to allow for a “team-designated” area. Businesses can also look to invest in collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams Calling to remove on premise requirements of having phones.
Investing in technology that helps to build a sustainable and productive hybrid model and empower employees to work in an environment that suites their individual needs will be extremely important in 2023 – to both attract and retain talent.
It’s coming – and it is coming fast! End-of-life support is only one year away for all versions of Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. If your business still uses 2012 servers, the cost to upgrade everything before the end-of-life date could come as a shock. Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. Since end-of-life support versions cannot receive security updates, they become serious breach points and all new vulnerabilities discovered become wide open to attackers. It’s basically an open door into your data.
Like anything, when building out your technology budget you should start with, the Why. You need to be realistic with what your current technology environment looks like and where you want to be down the road. As your business grows, or retracts, so will your technology and what you choose today can help determine your path.
Budgeting strategically for technology isn’t something that can happen overnight, in fact, if you don’t know where to get started it can be quite overwhelming. At Convergence, we have strategic Virtual Chief Information Officers (vCIO’s) and Virtual Chief Information Security Officers (vCISO’s) that work with our clients to help identify what technology investments need to be a priority for the new year and how to implement these in upcoming projects. If this is something you want help with contact us. We can help map your journey for the next year and beyond!