With the new year already in full swing, large enterprises already have their 2019 IT budgets pretty much set in stone. Where does that leave small and medium-sized businesses, though? Smaller operations may have a general plan for their IT roadmap in the coming years – maybe even a few particular investments they have their eyes on – but budgeting for that technology is still very much fluid.
More concerning is the fact that SMBs lack the resiliency of larger organizations to weather a bad investment or ill-suited piece of tech. Every dollar matters, and that can lead to a sort of paralysis where SMB decision-makers maintain the status quo rather than risk hard-earned capital on the latest IT solutions.
To help make the most of SMB resources, we've put together a few tips to guide IT budgeting throughout 2019.
"The time is right to embrace managed IT services."
Avoid sweeping infrastructure investments
Some organizational stakeholders become enamored with the idea of a wholly on-prem IT ecosystem, with all core functionality handled on-site rather than offloaded to a third-party provider at a separate location.
The problem with this mindset is that as infrastructure ages and compute, bandwidth and scalability demands grow, the existing IT architecture is unable to keep up. Replacing that hardware with all-new equipment is an incredibly expensive proposition. You could lease new equipment, but you would still need to configure and maintain it, requiring additional labor costs.
Under these conditions, the time is right to embrace the cloud and managed IT services, if you haven't already. A recent Capterra survey of 700 SMBs revealed that cloud computing was the second most-cited IT budgeting priority for the next two years.
Moving to an IT managed service model doesn't mean you have to give up total control of your databases, networks and systems. Maintaining a hybrid IT environment that combines both on-prem and hosted solutions is a very common – not to mention, very successful – approach among tech-savvy businesses.
Focus on your core requirements
Turn to any tech-related blog or website and you'll be inundated with stories breathlessly extolling the virtues of cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning and natural language processing.
Although that tech is certainly beneficial to the right organization, many SMBs would be better served dedicating their limited resources to IT needs that support their core operability and functionality.
Look for opportunities to improve operational efficiency, eliminate unnecessary costs and drive employee productivity. Automated workflows reduce time-consuming, costly and error-prone manual processes, for instance. Managed IT services cut down on both infrastructure and maintenance costs, while providing SMBs with enterprise-level IT support. Those kinds of solutions will offer immediate and tangible ROI, rather than the theoretical benefits and use cases that glitzier tech investments might promise.
Whatever your IT needs are today, throughout the rest of the year or well beyond, TEKConn provides the world-class IT managed services, cloud solutions and IT consulting required to drive your organization's operability, efficiency and profitability to new heights.