Are your IT and Cybersecurity budgets ready for 2023? If you haven’t taken a look at your previous IT spend, now is a great time to re-evaluate. Remember, technology is constantly evolving and your budget should be too. Unlike marketing, sales, engineering and support— where ROI can be more easily calculated— the math of cybersecurity ROI is not as straightforward. Despite this, with the costs and frequency of data breaches rising by the day, securing budget and ensuring it is spent appropriately is more critical than ever before.
The amount of money businesses spend on cybersecurity relative to their total budgets varies widely by industry and from organization to organization. That being said, we’ve included a brief overview of some tips that will help with your IT & Cybersecurity budget planning for 2023.
Tips for Planning Ahead
We’re here to help remove some of the guesswork. There’s no way to know exactly what the next year has in store, but there are steps you can take to prepare for the unknown. Here’s a few simple tips for keeping costs in check while planning for the next year:
- Assess your licensing & subscriptions: Review the costs associated with common user-based subscriptions like Microsoft 365, firewall subscriptions, and endpoint detection subscriptions. Is your team using the licensing to the fullest extent? Do you have duplicate tools that you could eliminate at the end of the payment term? Unused licensing can be a missed opportunity for cost savings.
- Manage Risks: Invest in ways to reduce your risk. That could entail investing in strong partnerships that can assist you or technologies that can provide business continuity and reduce the threat of cyber attacks. Either way, it’s worth while to try and mitigate risks before they become major issues. This post covers some basics for reducing your cyber risk.
- Take Stock of Inventory: have someone on your team review your hardware (laptops, desktops, servers, firewalls, switches, wireless etc) to figure out what may be aging out soon, especially if it isn’t supported by the manufacturer anymore. If you have a Managed IT partner, they can assist you with this. Once you’ve created an inventory of older equipment, highlight what you’ll want to replace in the next few months and keep the rest on a backlog for the following year. While it’s not a guarantee that you won’t need to replace any newer hardware, it’s always more likely that an aging machine will encounter issues. Keep in mind, there are tax benefits for acquiring new IT equipment. (Section 179 link)
- Observe common patterns: Have a conversation with your team and ask how IT support is working for them. Are there any common issues that could indicate a larger problem or something that just isn’t working?
Consider your business goals for the next 2-5 years. Review the environment and ensure all current IT initiatives help your business move forward in the right direction. Ultimately, aligning your IT and cybersecurity budgets / initiatives to your goals creates a strong roadmap for success.
What’s Typically Included in IT and Cybersecurity Budgets?
Obviously, this can fluctuate depending on your business and yearly goals; however, here are some common things you’ll want to include in your 2023 budget:
- Security and IT training for employees
- Licensing and software subscriptions
- Hardware upgrades (new phones, laptops, workstations, etc.)
- Energy costs (cloud vs. on premise)
- Annual Risk Assessment
- Managed IT Services
- Cyber liability insurance
This list may vary on a yearly basis depending on when you have last upgraded your equipment, but many of these items are static.
Tip: If you’re looking to save money on IT equipment upgrades, don’t forget about the benefits of Section 179.
Tips for Budgeting Effectively
Always plan for the unplanned. If it doesn’t get planned, it doesn’t get done. Ever since the pandemic, “business as usual” is a foreign concept. We’ve seen price increases and wait times from vendors and suppliers. Many pieces of equipment are more expensive than in years past. If you’ve reduced your budget over the past two years, you may come up short in 2023.
Here are some important budget considerations for 2023:
- Cybersecurity awareness training for the staff, including details on working remotely.
- Increasing prices on network equipment. There has been a market increase on these supply constrained items.
- Buying early to avoid shortage—due to the supply chain shortage, there’s still issues with some equipment being months or even a year on backorder.
- Consider digital transformation—moving to the cloud and modernizing your workplace could play an important role in your organization’s business goals.
Given the increase in cyber-attacks and evolving requirements for compliance, as well as those for cyber insurance, we recommend fully developing your IT & cybersecurity budget in 2023. Data breaches are not only costly but are also damaging to your organization’s reputation, client’s trust, and your business operations. Increasing your preventative services and proactive tools is the best investment you can make in protecting your business.
If you haven’t put together your IT and cybersecurity budgets yet for 2023, reach out to us. We’re happy to provide guidance on what we’re seeing in your industry and make recommendations to help you meet your business goals.