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Guide to IT Budgeting for 2024
IT budget season is upon us. Similar to last year, inflation remains high, a possible recession looms, disruption persists in supply chains, and there is much unpredictability in the global market. What does this mean for your organization? Proactive planning is more important than ever.
When Do You Need to Replace Aging Hardware and EOL Software?
Every technology investment has a life expectancy. The industry standard replacement cycle on servers is 5-7 years and workstations/laptops are 3-5 years. So, while your device may continue to operate, these assets will be utilizing parts that are likely to break down close to the end of that period or quickly after. These ranges are shorter if you purchase less expensive or “residential hardware” that is not built with the parts needed to run the number of hours required by a business. Once hardware passes these time frames, there is a significant risk of unplanned time for repairs or replacement resulting in increased downtime for your staff, impacting the bottom line.
Software also has a life expectancy. Support contracts allow software developers to upgrade your investment, fix software issues (bugs) and provide security patches to protect your data. Microsoft support of their server operating system (OS) is ten (10) years. After that timeframe, your OS is no longer receiving updates, bug fixes or security patches, leaving your network and data vulnerable to outside attacks.
To achieve maximum efficiency and protect your software from breaches, you should always operate on supported software.
How Do You Establish IT Governance and Compliance?
Regulatory and vendor compliance requirements are constantly evolving. It is necessary to allocate the proper budget to ensure your IT assets and processes for reporting comply with industry regulations (e.g., FFIEC), vendor requirements (licensing compliance) and data protection laws (e.g., HIPPA and PCI). Failing to do so can result in hefty fines, unbudgeted true-ups and reputational damage. It is crucial to audit your IT governance practices and assets to identify and address any compliance gaps.
Is Security a Necessary Priority?
In 2024, IT security and risk management will continue to be a top concern for organizations of all sizes. According to the Flexera 2023 State of the Cloud Report, 79 percent of organizations view security as a top challenge second only to managing cloud spend.
Cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. That is why it is one of AhelioTech’s top priorities (alongside licensing and usage of IT assets), with 61 percent of companies providing the data and analysis to support these security risk mitigation initiatives.
Regular vulnerability assessments are vital to protect your data and systems from potential breaches. Our support teams also enhance your organization’s security by tracking end-of-life/end-of-service (EOL/EOS) assets to reduce the risk of exposure due to unpatched or obsolete software. Our strong defensive approach protects your organization against cyber threats and can save your organization significant costs and reputational damage in the long run.
How Do You Align IT with Business Goals?
The first and most crucial step in IT budget planning for 2024 is aligning your IT strategy with your overall business goals. This ensures your technology investments directly contribute to your company’s success. AhelioTech will work closely with your business leaders to understand their objectives and challenges, and then identify how IT can support those initiatives. By having a clear understanding of your business’s strategic direction and how your technology assets align to those business units, functions or initiatives, you can allocate resources to projects and technologies that provide the most value.
Is Cloud Technology Right for You?
Cloud technology has transformed the way businesses operate, offering scalability, flexibility and, in many cases, cost efficiency. As you consider migrating more of your IT infrastructure and services to the cloud in 2024, it is important to understand what you have, what it costs to run and what advantages moving to the cloud could provide. It is important not to forget the licensing implications of running software in the cloud. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50 percent of organizations will unify software asset management (SAM) and Cloud technology into a singular practice focused on cost management and governance, so aligning these teams now will provide dividends later.
A valuable question to ask is, could we reduce capital expenditures, improve resource utilization or enhance business continuity by investing more budget into Cloud services? It is imperative to carefully assess your cloud spending as costs can quickly add up if not managed effectively.
AhelioTech is here to help you prepare your 2024 IT budget.