The time to plan for your 2022 technology needs is now with Mentis Group President, Jason Vaught

The most important technology spend in 2022 will be, hands down, cybersecurity.

You don’t have to search the headlines hard to understand why. Here are just a few that stand out:

The Rising Economic Cost of Cyberattacks

“While ransomware attacks on large firms tend to make headlines, according to one report, 70 percent of such attacks are directed at small- and medium-sized firms with fewer than 1,000 employees with 90 percent of the losses against these firms uninsured.”

Will Ransomware Extortion Tactics Ever Stop Evolving?

“The latest development in extortion methods by developers of Conti shows we should begin to continually expect new and innovative extortion tactics by cybercriminal gangs moving forward.”

Cybersecurity Jobs Report: 3.5 Million Openings Through 2025

“The workplace in the United States indicates a worldwide shortage of workers with cybersecurity qualifications.”

The key takeaways here are:

  1. Cybercrime is BIG money and here to stay.
  2. Cyber threats and tactics will continue to change and evolve.
  3. There’s a rising demand for cybersecurity services and currently, not enough labor to meet it.

Okay, enough of the bad news.

Let’s get to planning for your 2022 technology by asking these questions:

  1. Who’s in charge of your 2022 plan and are you considering technology needs in that plan?

In the end, it’s the CEO or the President who has the final say when it comes to annual plan. However, numerous strategic planning sessions with multiple stakeholders and key staff help ensure it’s the best plan for the company’s growth. And an important part of every plan is technology. So, be sure to invite the right people to the table to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

The “right” tech person to include will depend on whether you have in-house IT staff or you work with a managed IT Services provider. If you have the former, you’ll need to connect with your IT Director. If it’s the latter, you’ll want to consult with your vCIO.

  1. What’s in place now?

There are multiple ways to take stock of your existing technology. Ideally, you’ll already have taken an IT Assessment in the not-too-distant past. If you’ve taken an assessment, then you probably also have a technology roadmap. Having a tech roadmap plays a critical role in making sure that your technology efforts are aligning with your business goals over the long term.

If you’re not sure where your technology stands or you’ve been relying on “reactive” (break-fix) technology services, consider getting an IT assessment.

The reason IT assessments are so powerful is because they identify all your vulnerabilities and risks. This information can then be complied into a plan or “roadmap” that helps set priorities, goals, timelines, and budgets to improve and strengthen your technology.

If you’re already working with a managed services provider, then you have a fairly good idea of your current technology standing because you have already taken an IT assessment, have a roadmap, and are making progress on your top technology priorities.

Whether you know where your technology’s at or not, make sure to pay particular attention to your cybersecurity in 2022. If you’re unsure of where you are in terms of your cybersecurity program, its money well spent getting an assessment.

  1. What will you need or need to accomplish in 2022 to align your technology and cybersecurity with your business needs?

Again, if you are already working with a technology partner and/or a vCIO, this will come as no surprise. You might already have a list of your top tech priorities for 2022 in place. If so, you’ll be able to spend more time talking about timelines, implementation, and costs.

If you are unsure of what you need to accomplish in 2022 or are struggling to prioritize or plan your IT budget, it is time to get an IT assessment, consult with your technology partner or IT Director, or pay for additional outside IT consulting.

  1. What’s your budget?

This is everyone’s favorite topic, right? As challenging as it can be at times, its critical to know what you can spend as it will influence the timelines of your IT priorities. Your IT Director and vCIO will be especially helpful in planning your budget. They’ll help you understand and chart out the costs and if needed, find some creative solutions. Most companies can get their tech needs met if they plan out their needs in advance.

If you’re still feeling stuck or unsure of your next steps, reach out to your IT Director or vCIO for guidance. They’ll be your best resources to use when planning for your technology needs in 2022.