The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting for Your IT and Cybersecurity Needs (2023 Edition)

As this year ends, it’s about time to revisit your IT budgeting plan for 2023. For many of you, starting might feel a little overwhelming. While for others, figuring out what areas you should prioritize may seem cut and dry, but often it isn’t that simple.

Budget planning should include identifying areas of focus both from a long-term strategic perspective and for successful operational effectiveness TODAY.

With all the technological developments and the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks, it can feel like an impossible task to keep up with everything you need to do to protect your business.

But it’s not impossible.

In fact, with a bit of planning and budgeting, it’s easy to identify what should be your primary focus.

Here are three areas that your company should prioritize for your IT and Cybersecurity budget:

Hardware Refresh and Cloud Operating Expense

While for many organizations, many of your applications and servers are now cloud-hosted. However, that doesn’t mean the hardware you do have is any less critical to your environment. Think about all the desktops/laptops, routers, switches, and servers that are still in the environment, and whose smooth operation is necessary if you wish to remain operational. If these devices are performing at their peak, then your company will be able to thrive.

You’ll want to consider addressing specific hardware areas based on your business goals:

Does it make sense to transition from an “on-premises” network to a cloud server? For an organization looking to lower rental space costs or constant server upgrades, it might be more cost feasible to consider the cloud.

In addition, how will replacing specific hardware elements help your company’s overall business model? Will there be clear, tangible benefits to upgrading this hardware, and will it help your company’s business goals and be worth the financial investment?

Having a well-defined technology roadmap and budget, aligned to your business plans, in place for these components is critical to your success.

Licenses and Compliance Costs

As regulations evolve, your company must stay compliant with current data privacy and cybersecurity regulations — not only for external reasons but because of many internal policies. A few regulations that come to mind are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), or FTC Safeguards.

These compliance audits can be expensive — especially if they’re done frequently — but they’re necessary for maintaining compliance with industry regulations and for your customers’ peace of mind.

As the world changes, newer compliance requirements and cybersecurity regulations may evolve as the world becomes more cyber secure. These new regulatory requirements may involve additional compliance audits in the range of $30k-$60k in annual costs you’ll need to consider.

Understanding the costs of keeping your customers’ data safe and compliant and preparing for any additional cybersecurity needs is vital to planning your IT budget effectively.

For Mentis Group clients, we bake into every managed agreement many of the cybersecurity components required by most compliance bodies, so no matter your industry as a Mentis managed client the solid foundation for compliance is already in place.

Remote Workforce

As many companies move to a remote business model, there are several areas to address to optimize productivity and reduce costs when budgeting. While a remote workforce may decrease in-house overhead costs, there are points to consider in running it smoothly.

First, will additional technological equipment be needed to sustain workforce productivity and enhance the workforce? For example, for many regulated industries allowing BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) devices poses an unacceptable risk, so should your organization budget for company-provided laptops for all remote staff? In addition, will your team need additional computer monitors, HD webcams for video conferencing, external microphones, and ergonomic equipment?

Next, will you consider purchasing new digital tools or software to help them with virtual processes that weren’t required when your employees were in-house? For example, if their processes change because they’re remote, they’ll need the tools and software to carry out their tasks.

Finally, will you need to invest in virtual coffee hours, buy Door Dash appreciation lunches, or hold monthly after-work game nights to cultivate teamwork, appreciation, and fun within your team? Being disconnected from your team and losing that everyday human connection can impact your team’s well-being, and it’s essential to find creative ways to stay connected.

It’s manageable but transitioning to a remote workforce involves investing in additional expenditures you might’ve not budgeted for in the past.

IT budgeting can be an effortless endeavor for your company. It just takes addressing your business objectives and understanding how your IT and cybersecurity requirements fit into your overall business plan. We’d love to discuss how we might help you create your IT budget for 2023. So, if you’re ready to start planning, click here.