In Insights & Ideas, IT Management, Managed Services

A new year means a new IT budget. 2019 is sure to be a year filled with technology changes, and it’s important to consider them when developing your new budget. Your budget can range from recurring expenses (i.e. hardware leases) to the costs dedicated to a fixed-duration project or initiative. Budgeting is more than just about “keeping the lights on.” Your budget is also a critical tool for identifying and executing the IT initiatives that are important to your department. Whether you’ve already developed your new budget, or still need help, here are five areas that you MUST consider for 2019.

Building Your 2019 IT Budget

  1. Office 2010: If you have a traditional perpetual license for an Office product (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) it’s time to think about upgrading. Extended support will end in 2020, and you will no longer receive updates.
  2. Server 2008 R2: End-of-life mainstream support for this system already ended in 2015. But in January 2020, Microsoft will terminate all support. While you may think a January 2020 is a long way away, updating IT infrastructure is an enormous task and will take time to complete. It’s time to start making plans now, so any potential vulnerabilities do not attack your servers.
  3. Windows 7: Just like other Microsoft products, the lifecycle for Windows 7 is coming to an end in 2020. With the end of support, your PCs will become vulnerable to future Windows vulnerabilities. Updating your Operating System means continued security and protection from possible threats. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
  4. Barracuda Sentinel: Email threats are persistent and evolving. Firms have unsuspectingly wired money, sent tax information, and emailed credentials to criminals who were impersonating their boss, colleague, or a trusted customer. Barracuda Sentinel was built to help protect your firm after the initial Free Email Threat Scan. This solution combines three powerful layers – artificial intelligence, domain fraud protection, and fraud simulation training – into one comprehensive solution. Your firm can then begin protecting against targeted attacks.
  5. Domain Name System (DNS) Protection: DNS services are frequently a point of vulnerability for the enterprise, and DNS security has become a growing concern. DNS is often a target for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, as well as reflection and amplification attacks. Implementing DNS protection can secure your firm’s connection against cyberattacks.

I Built My Budget Now What

Having your budget built is only the first step to a successful year. It’s important to continually update your budget as changes happen and new issues arise. The last thing you want to have is an outdated IT budget that doesn’t line up with company goals. Make sure you are keeping in contact with your trusted IT advisor. Once a project begins, update your budget with any cost estimates.

Don’t think of IT costs as simply the cost of doing business. Consider your IT expenses as an investment into the operations of your organization. Use your budget as a validation and support tool for your IT strategy instead of looking at the budget solely as an administrative process. If you don’t have a formal or informal IT strategy in place, building a budget is a great stepping stone to begin look at areas for improvement that can become cornerstones for a more strategic IT management.

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