Budgeting for IT and What You Should Be Investing in for 2021

17th January 2021
Planning meeting for 2021 and the IT budget

We don’t feel the need to point out that 2020 was shaky for every business owner. It provided technology manufacturers and business owners with immense challenges. Whether it was about providing computers remotely to your employees so videoconferencing could be a thing, or creating online portals, 2020 has kept all of us busy. But now as this unexpected year comes to a close, we created a list of fruitful end of the year investments that can ensure you get the most benefits out of the technology you currently own.

Review Computers

We usually advise our clients to upgrade the Macs in their organization every three to five years. However, this also depends on the use case of a specific client and the technology changes the organization goes through. If you wait for more than five years to upgrade the technology in your organization, you’re just gambling by saving your capital expense against a potential threat that can result in a lot of time lost.

Consequently, the end user of the device will end up with a slower computer, reducing productivity levels. Software compatibility and security risks will also become a frequent problem and if something ends up breaking, Apple might not consider giving you a replacement.

Be aware of Big Sur

You might have also noticed that Apple made a huge announcement last month that all upcoming Apple computers will have the new M1 processor. This is a big news when you consider the fact that Apple made an announcement of the same nature back in 2006; this was when they switched their chips from PowerPC to Intel.  

It is also worth noticing that in 2006 all of the softwares were not optimized with the latest chips Apple was producing. Some applications worked better withRosetta 2, so now can be a great time to add M1 computers to your business. Fortunately for you, every tech reviewer is giving the M1 amazing reviews.

Network Infrastructure

Upgrading the technology around your network depends on a few factors.

  • How much growth are you expecting?
  • What is the quality of the current gear you have?
  • Have there been any technological advancements?

Some businesses can run the same network system for five or seven years, while others can feel the need for an increased bandwidth, increased security controls, or they might need an upgrade to account for the several new users they’ve brought on to their platform.

Budget for Updated Security

Was there ever a time you thought about your company’s security appliance? If it’s been long since your company upgrade their security appliance, getting an upgrade right now might be a good idea. A security appliance that is outdated can have a decreased amount of data throughput, resulting in a bottleneck for the network you’ve built and it can also limit the maximum potential of your internet speeds. We’ve seen many clients paying for a gigabyte of speed from Verizon even when their firewall only allows 250 mbps!

It is also worth noting that an outdated security appliance is no longer supported by the manufacturer; you may not be aware of the latest updates and newer security threats can be an additional concern.

Try upgrading to the latest Cisco Meraki security appliance. This will make your organization’s network faster and significantly securer.

File Sharing needs

The file storage upgrades depend on the data you may have, the accessibility speed and the technology available. If your business needs to change or if the technology is worth it, you should consider getting a new storage system for your business.

Shared Storage Upgrades

Are you one of those companies that are still using an Apple server for all shared storage needs? Apple has discontinued their server platform and have made efforts to shrink it, but there are still several alternatives.

Try migrating your files to Dropbox. With this method, you’ll still have all of the advantages of he shared storage and you’ll still be able to access your files from anywhere.

If you want to transfer bigger files locally, we recommend getting a shared storage from Synology NAS. They have a fantastic network which can run the basic OS. They are also brilliant at sharing large files without wasting a lot of resources.

Mobile Device Management

Although many small business owners can’t afford device management, it can increase the productivity levels of your organization fourfold. However, the budget for this is dependent on several factors.

Budget for PC and Mac management

Since several employees will go into 2021 working remotely, device management is very important for every business. JamfPro is a tool you can use that provides supercharges, security and it can also restructure the deployment and management of applications.

Anti-Virus and End Point Protection

2021 can be the perfect time for you to invest in end point protection. The stats for breaches will only rise with the passage of time and ignoring this factor is a huge risk.

The budget of your anti-virus protection strategy should also depend on what your people prefer using. Several AV companies make the mistake of not investing in OS protection – don’t be one of them!

Backup

It is extremely important for you to invest in a backup. Whether it’s Office 365 or the endpoint, everything should be backed up. Backing up your servers will usually depend on the amount of data in these servers and other factors like the number of downloads. To stay completely safe, you can also consider an offsite backup.