- Some of the biggest questions we see here at Get Support are, ‘Where should I direct my IT budget?’ and ‘Is IT support a big priority when planning our year?’ It’ll come as no surprise that we think IT support is a very smart place to invest.
- With more UK businesses than ever operating on digital and cloud-based platforms, there’s never been more need for robust, reliable, and secure IT support and infrastructure.
- By understanding how to direct your annual budgets when it comes to IT strategy, you can optimise your IT support processes while also keeping control of your spend. In this article, we’ll explain how in just 4 simple steps focused on UK business.
It’s that time of year again: planning, strategy, and budgeting.
While those words may strike fear into the hearts of business owners and leaders across the UK, there’s no question about the importance of planning for the year ahead as early as possible.
When it comes to IT support, that should probably go double. Why? Because, with over £23 billion spent on digital advertising in the UK alone in 2021 – an all-time high – it’s clear that the UK is now very much a digital-first business economy.
For you as a business owner or leader, that means it’s more important than ever to deploy effective IT support strategies to ensure your staff are productive, efficient, and cyber-secure.
So where should your IT budget go in 2024? Here are 4 steps to point you in the right direction.
Step 1: Align your IT support budget with business goals
To ensure that your business is realising the maximum return on investment for your IT support and technical solutions in 2024, the planning you do now will be essential. To that end, the first step is to align your IT strategy with the goals of the business.
What does this alignment look like? Consider factors such as staffing forecasts – will new starters require new hardware? Also think about your business strategy for 2024 – are you looking to enter new markets or explore new digital channels? These may incur a technical cost, including the provision of new software, hardware, or both. Another example is customer satisfaction: if you’re looking to make improvements here, it’s a good idea to give your team an IT-based solution which allows them to communicate better and be more productive – like Microsoft Teams.
Step 2: Analyse and identify areas of existing expenditure
Before you make any big plans for your 2024 IT support budget, it’s a good idea to review what you’re doing already to inform your decision-making.
One way to achieve this is to look back at your past invoices and budget expenditure to identify anything you’re currently paying for which falls under the broad umbrella of IT support. This could be anything from software services, hardware provision, and even human resources costs. Getting all of this spend down on paper will allow you to draw immediate comparisons and make a more informed decision about where your budget needs to go in 2024 – especially if you can cross-reference it against key performance indicators, such as total support tickets closed.
Step 3: Decide what you can keep (and what you can lose)
Once you have identified the areas of existing IT expense, it’ll be time to start making the hard decisions.
Like all businesses, you’ll naturally only have a certain amount of budget available for investing in quality IT services and equipment which can support a growing business. Getting the allocation of that budget correct is essential if you want to ensure the security and reliability of your systems. It’s also important to make sure that the services you are purchasing are up to date and able to meet the current (and future) needs of your business.
This is one reason that investing in an IT support agreement can cover you for multiple eventualities – because you pay one fee which covers many different aspects of IT support (without you having to break it all down).
Step 4: Prioritise your cybersecurity defence
We don’t need to remind any small business that cybersecurity needs to be a priority in 2024. Breaches and cyberattacks are more rife than ever in recent years, with 32% of UK businesses reporting at least one cyber-attack in 2022/2023.
As a small business, you’re likely to be a target for hackers and other malicious actors, especially as you build out your systems in the cloud and other digital infrastructure. Investing in a comprehensive cybersecurity system can help to protect your data and systems from potential threats. There are many such systems available, including the basics like include firewalls and antivirus to the more heavy-hitting options like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).
Need help planning out your IT support budget this year?
One of the primary benefits of the IT support agreements we provide here at Get Support is our IT strategy and budgeting service.
With this service, our crack team of IT experts will sit down with you, analyse your current strategy, then identify key areas where you’ll be able to realise cost savings and unlock efficiencies with your IT support provision. This means you don’t have to take the time to dig deep into your current IT infrastructure, because we’ll do it for you – and we’ll make industry-leading recommendations at the same time.
So, whether you’ve already put together your IT support budget for the year and simply need a sanity check – or you just don’t know where to begin – we can help.
To get in touch with the Get Support team now, call one of our friendly experts on 01865 594 000, or fill in the form at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you.