According to Gartner, worldwide spending on IT is expected to increase to more than $5 trillion in 2024, as businesses strengthen their reliance on technology to streamline efficiencies, mitigate risk, meet growing compliance expectations and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Whether you’re outlaying investments for your in-house IT team to execute, choosing the right managed IT service provider to partner with or planning a combination of the two, preparing your 2024 IT budget should be a thoughtful and considerate process that balances the unique needs of your organization with your overall strategic priorities for the coming year.
Preparing your IT budget is an exercise that can only be effective when you align it with your business’s strategic priorities and goals. Solicit input from management and your functional business leaders to ensure your budget items not only address today’s pain points but plan for tomorrow’s goals.
Here are some simple examples to demonstrate how to align your IT budget with business priorities:
A significant portion of your 2024 IT budget should be set aside for cybersecurity and data protection. The landscape is evolving at a rapid pace and is impacted – seemingly daily – by savvy threats, growing regulatory requirements, increasing cyber insurance costs, and other changing dynamics.
Your business will need to plan for continuous investments in security management to ensure you not only assess your ongoing risk factors and vulnerabilities, but also evolve your technology over time to keep pace with innovation. Think about the people, processes and tools you may need to help your company prevent, detect and respond to cybersecurity threats.
Regulatory compliance requirements are constantly heating up, and depending on which industry you operate in, you probably need to plan for investments in IT compliance management in 2024. Not only are expectations for cyber risk management programs becoming more stringent, but the direct financial plus auxiliary cost of ongoing management, reporting, disclosure, vendor risk management, etc. is steadily increasing.
Regardless of industry, you can expect investments in governance, risk and compliance (GRC) management to include some of all of the following elements:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is only going to become a larger part of your IT strategy as we look to 2024 and beyond, but don’t overlook the necessary role that humans play in managing your technology and mitigating risk. While you may plan for AI or machine learning (ML) investments next year, be sure to consider the level of support you may need from in-house or outsourced teams such as:
While most of your annual IT budget will account proactively for necessary infrastructure, software licenses and advanced technology to power your operations and mitigate risk, you should also plan to allocate spend for reactive technology measures. Unfortunately, the worst can (and sometimes does) happen, so you’ll need to ensure your business is prepared to respond in the event of a cybersecurity incident, unexpected disaster scenario or other serious event. Some specific budget items to consider include:
As you think through the areas noted above and prepare your 2024 technology budget, be sure to consider how your future investments may be impacted by the following factors:
Internal Staffing & Bandwidth
Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to significantly outsource IT to a trusted MSP like Omega Systems. But even if you have internal IT resources, you may want to consider additional co-managed IT support to extend their effectiveness. Think about your team’s utilization and if there’s value in leveraging an MSP/MSSP for escalation services, special projects, cloud migrations or other initiatives.
Age of Current Infrastructure
If you’re operating with legacy infrastructure, build refreshes into next year’s budget or consider the benefits of infrastructure modernization. By migrating your environment to the cloud, you can take advantage of increased flexibility and scalability as well as optimize costs for the long-term.
Speaking of scalability, be sure to take any future growth plans into account as part of your budgeting process. If you’re planning to grow organically, expand to new markets or territories or acquire other companies in the near future, build in scalability that accounts for future hardware, licensing and application costs over the next 12 months.
Omega Systems is a trusted MSP and IT advisor to more than 750 businesses across the U.S. and internationally. Our technology, security and compliance professionals can help you assess your current IT environment and prepare an IT budget that aligns with your overall strategic priorities for 2024 and beyond. Contact our team to get started.
Not sure where to start? Our cybersecurity risk management e-Book contains helpful insight, perspectives and recommendations on combatting today’s cyber threats.