How to Prioritize Your IT Budget for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to allocate more funds to their IT departments to accommodate technology changes like working remotely. This year, companies have to use last year’s experience to identify the areas that need prioritization. Companies that have been forced to make major changes during the pandemic include:

  • Airlines
  • Restaurants
  • Health
  • Leisure industries
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Banking 

Many small and medium-sized enterprises are likely to focus on improving network security to prevent malicious breaches while enabling their workforces to operate remotely. Also, most businesses will focus on implementing long-term solutions by getting expert technology help from companies that do IT in Southern California.

If you own a business, here are useful tips on how to prioritize your IT budget for 2021.

Train Your Employees

Because of the increasing incidences of cyber-attacks, it is essential to train your employees to prevent potential network breaches. Security awareness training can help your workforce spot and prevent phishing and other social engineering attacks that often come with ransomware and malicious software. 

Moreover, training upholds your business’s reputation since clients are confident that their data is safe.

Implement Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is an authentication mechanism that requires a user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a system. For instance, you might be required to answer a security question after typing in your password.

For businesses, this authentication method improves data security, both on your premises and on the cloud. The good thing about multi-factor authentication is that it is easy and effective in preventing common cyber-attacks. 

Invest in Cloud-based Applications

A cloud-based application is a program that runs on the internet. And some or all of its processes are executed on the cloud. According to Cisco, the cloud will host 94% of computing processes this year. These apps are gaining popularity among businesses because they use cheaper equipment, enhance productivity, reduce traffic costs, and improve scalability.

Furthermore, cloud applications streamline your operations and offer unrivalled flexibility, regardless of your business’s size. This is why you need to prioritize them over desktop and web applications.

Install Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WANs)

A software-defined vast area network is a virtual network architecture that allows businesses to use a combination of transport services, such as broadband and LTE, to establish a secure connection between users and applications. Unlike standard WANs, SD-WANs provide high-level security, have no bandwidth penalties, and improve control, performance, scalability, and visibility.

By investing in an SD-WAN, you can improve your productivity significantly. Despite its many benefits, a software-defined vast area network is inexpensive compared to its standard counterpart. This is because it uses less equipment.

Use Enhanced Collaboration and Productivity Tools

Effective collaboration is a priority for many businesses since most people are now working from home. This is why every organization must invest in collaboration tools to enhance teamwork and increase productivity.

In business, every year has its demands – you can’t use the budget you used in 2020 to get through 2021, even if it was sufficient previously. With a well-prepared budget, you can adhere to a roadmap for the year ahead. If you don’t plan, you might find yourself behind your competitors.