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How to Spend Your Remaining 2019 IT Budget

As the end of the year quickly approaches, one of the things most companies should be looking at is how much of their budget remains — and what to do with it. If you still have unspent money in your yearly IT budget, the clock is ticking. That means you should make plans now on how to use the rest of your budget so you don’t end up losing it.

Not using all of your 2019 IT budget could do more than shortchange you this year; it could result in getting a smaller amount of funding in the next fiscal year. To keep that from happening, let’s look at four areas you might not have considered but that offer wise investment options for your remaining IT budget.

# 1: Software Reaching End of Life

There’s been a lot of talk about Windows 7 reaching end of life (EOL) on Jan. 14, 2020. But what exactly does it mean?

The software will still work, but that doesn’t mean you want to continue using it. You will no longer have any patches available to protect your PCs from new viruses or emerging security threats, which means you’ll be putting all of your data at risk. Since hackers and other malicious users know that Windows 7 will be left vulnerable, they have tremendous incentive to start targeting anyone still using the program.

You have a couple of options to make sure you’re protected; if you have a bigger budget to spend, you could get new hardware including PCs and servers that are running up-to-date software. If your budget is limited, you could upgrade to Windows 10. It is comparable in features such as the customizable tiles made popular with Windows 8, but Windows 10 also has robust security features to help protect your business from cyberattacks.

On that same date, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 reach the end of support. This means the end of regular security updates that can leave your infrastructure and applications unprotected. To mitigate this risk, consider migrating to a current Windows Server to ensure security and server performance. The latest Windows Server 2019 has a number of great features that include enhanced security, improved reliability and simplified server migration.

# 2: Improve Security for the New Year

Security is always top of mind for IT professionals, and it is becoming even more critical as attacks continue getting bolder and more aggressive. Ransomware attacks accounted for 40% of cyber claims during the first 10 months of 2019 and were responsible for 23% of cyber claims for smaller businesses.

That helps explain why Forrester dubbed 2019 as “the year of security services.” Globally, four times more budget is being spent on cybersecurity services than other areas of business, and that trend is not going away in 2020.

Investing some of your remaining 2019 IT budget in these areas can help improve your company’s security:

# 3: Cloud and IT Services

The cloud has permanently changed the structure of IT and software systems. More and more applications are running in the cloud, which has streamlined operations in ways that are continuing to rapidly evolve.

Microsoft Office 365 allows anytime/anywhere access and also eliminates the hassle of managing emails in-house. If you haven’t already migrated to Office 365, consider making that part of your 2019 budget spend. It provides a number of great tools and features that can help you grow your small business while increasing efficiency. From tracking mileage to managing emails and allowing for automatic appointment booking, it can make your business operations faster and simpler than ever.

Investing in web hosting services can also save you time and money, as it eliminates the need to have a hosting server on premise and lets you leave behind the headache of worrying about 24/7 uptime.

And, instead of hiring and training new or additional internal IT staff, consider beefing up your IT department by outsourcing your operations. Consider using a managed services provider, which remotely manages your company’s IT infrastructure as well as end-user systems and mobile devices. This approach allows you to become more efficient while at the same time cutting the overall amount that you’re spending on your IT department.

# 4: Consider Hardware Refreshes

As your hardware ages, you can take one of two paths:

  • An upgrade, which allows you to keep your current infrastructure and just switches out certain components to boost performance levels and increase the overall capacity
  • A refresh, which replaces all of your existing hardware that doesn’t have the capacity or performance level your infrastructure needs

Since hardware is expensive to replace, when a refresh is required, consider buying refurbished hardware instead of purchasing it new. Buying refurbished allows you to refresh your existing hardware with equipment that has been minimally used and has the reliability of a brand-new system. Unlike used equipment, refurbished hardware will typically come with a warranty. At Aventis Systems, that means a three-year comprehensive warranty on all servers and storage.

There’s Still Time to Spend Your 2019 IT Budget

When it comes to your IT budget, it is much better to use it than to lose it. Examining what systems might be reaching end of life or end of service, as well as analyzing your infrastructure’s security can help you make better-informed decisions about where to allocate the remainder of your 2019 budget.

If you have questions about which options might be best for your needs, Aventis Systems can help. Contact our experts today at 1-855-AVENTIS to learn more about how to make the most of your remaining budget for 2019.

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