Generally, we like to make the argument that nothing about your small business is too small. We do say it a lot in relation to cybersecurity — no size of business is immune. Yet, there is the chance your IT budget is too small. Consider these indicators that you might need to invest more in your IT.
Every business wants to be cost-conscious. Saving money in one area can make funds available to expand, develop new products, or pay people more. That all makes sense.
Yet technology is the lifeblood of business success today. When you have the best tools available, you gain productivity, efficiency, and transparency. Plus, your people are likely to be happier, which helps retention, too. At the same time, with cyberthreats on the rise globally, IT isn’t the best area in which to flex your thrift muscles.
How can you know you need to pay more now to avoid spending an exorbitant amount later? Look for these warning signs.
Employees Are Losing Time to Tech
The right hardware and software makes employees’ jobs easier. Robotic process automation can improve workflow to avoid effort spent on mundane tasks. But people struggling with slow, outdated technology are wasting valuable time.
If your people have to find workarounds to get that project done on deadline, that’s only a short-term fix. It is frustrating for them, which impacts morale and retention. Plus, the band-aid approach to getting the job done can backfire in the long run.
There are Important Things You Can’t Do
You may be putting off upgrades to save on your IT budget. Yet in your effort to spend less on tech, you’re undermining your business interests. You put off an operating system upgrade because your current system is working fine, except that choice could make you more vulnerable to cyberattack. You recognize the value of integrated customer relationship management (CRM) software but don’t want to splurge on that valuable tool. Still, you don’t want to save money on IT spend at the expense of business needs right now.
Customer Experience Is Suffering
You may not immediately connect IT budget and customer satisfaction, yet consumers today want convenience and personal attention. These can be difficult for the overworked human employee to do. Providing improved data and analytics makes it easier to offer individual attention. Plus, chatbots and mobile apps can transform the customer experience, because they save time and effort.
You’re Struggling to Meet Industry Standards
Businesses face different industry standards to manage and protect personal and proprietary data. There can be requirements for backup practices, infrastructure testing, monitoring threats, and more. This can make the job of IT more complicated, but not spending to safeguard data or intellectual property risks a financial hit.
Improving operational efficiencies is a priority, of course, yet security spend needs to part of the IT budget, too. Address risk exposure with recurring risk assessments and a strategic security framework.
Better Budgeting for IT
Many businesses looking to bounce back from the pandemic are struggling with tight budgets. Still, technology can improve remote work, increase productivity, and enhance customer satisfaction.