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Your 2023 IT Plan: What to Prioritise and Ways to Save

Blogs and insights

Here are some ways you can save money and optimise your IT plan for the new year.

Feeling stuck with your IT plan for the new year? A looming recession, rising cyber threats, and ongoing skills shortages will all impact your 2023 IT strategy. Due to the instability of the current economy and business environment, business leaders will need to tackle IT planning with precision to overcome challenges, get more out of their investments, and improve efficiency.

If you’re not sure where to start, this blog shares our thoughts on what to prioritise in 2023 – plus some tips on ways you can reduce your IT costs. From automation to improving digital skills, here are some things you might want to consider when it comes to your 2023 IT plan.

Your 2023 IT Plan: What to Prioritise

Maximising Efficiency

Are you utilising automation? – Automation is a simple way to optimise your IT services, processes and user workflows by reducing or removing manual elements. The effective use of automation is an easy way to save both time and money by enabling people to spend less time on admin tasks and more on meaningful work. In fact, according to recent research, automation typically enables businesses to achieve between 20% and 40% cost savings. Why waste time on manual tasks when you can automate them?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a type of technology that makes it easy for anyone to automate digital tasks. RPA is often the first step organisations take toward digitising processes, and many businesses are already using it. Statistics show that 83% of financial companies are already implementing RPA or looking to do so in the near future. Think about where you could be wasting time on manual tasks and see if automation has a place in your 2023 IT plan.

Are your team’s digital skills up to scratch? – Technology and digital tools are of little benefit if people don’t know how to use them. Worryingly, there are millions of workers across the UK who lack the basic digital skills needed to fully participate and stay productive in the digital world. In fact, one report found that around 17 million people nationwide haven’t mastered basic digital skills.

Do your staff need support in improving their digital skills? If so, you could consider integrating end user training into your IT strategy to help employees improve their understanding of the different productivity and collaboration tools they have at hand. This could include platforms such as Microsoft 365 and Office apps.

Strengthening Security

For the past few years, IT plans have been built on security, and the upcoming year is no exception. Cybercrime is at an all-time high and without the right protection in place, your business could fall victim to a cyberattack. Attacks and data breaches can cause your business to suffer significant financial and reputational damage, so having a strong security posture is vital.

It’s important to protect your business from every angle. That’s why the strongest security strategies are built on three core pillars: People, Process, and Technology.

People – Did you know that human error is the leading cause of security breaches? Every employee from top to bottom needs to be aware of the role they play in identifying and preventing attacks. This includes ensuring they know how to handle data, spot phishing scams or social engineering attempts, and keep their devices secure. Have you considered cybersecurity awareness training in your 2023 IT strategy?

Process – Effective security processes define the roles, activities, documentation, and systems in place to mitigate cyber risks. As the cyber threat landscape changes so quickly, it’s important processes can evolve at the same pace. Developing, implementing, and managing effective security processes is necessary – but also complex and time-consuming. You can simplify the task working with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like the 848 Group.

Technology – Do you have cybersecurity solutions to protect your technology environment? Are they integrated and optimised to create a watertight security posture? Assessing, developing, and deploying cybersecurity solutions is complex and requires specialist knowledge and expertise. That’s why almost 60% of all UK businesses outsource their IT and cybersecurity to an external supplier.

Whilst investing in cybersecurity comes at a price, the cost is far less than the financial and reputational impacts of a breach. If you need help with incorporating security into your IT plan, booking a consultation with a security specialist will help.

Reducing Costs

Leave your on-premises IT in 2022 – The cost of maintaining on-premises infrastructure can take over your IT budget and hinder innovation over time. Moving to the cloud will significantly reduce the cost of managing your IT systems. This is because it removes the cost and headache of owning, maintaining and upgrading physical hardware, and the majority of software updates are automatic  Cloud services are also typically accessed via a subscription model.  This means costs are predictable and broken down into your monthly budget.

Cloud technology is a key element in the IT strategy for many businesses. According to a recent Microsoft survey, 86% of respondents plan to increase investments in the cloud next year, and 95% said the cloud is critical to business success.

Ensure your technology is up-to-date – Running technologies or software that haven’t been updated – or worse, have reached ‘end of life’ – can lead to expensive maintenance and heightened security risks. Outdated or end of life tech is often incompatible with modern tools, is slow or simply no longer fit for purpose, and leaves your business more vulnerable to cyberattacks.  As you develop your 2023 IT plan, it’s important to consider whether you are running any systems that are dated or outside of mainstream support. Services that are fast approaching end of life include Exchange Server 2013. You can find more information about this here.

Your 2023 IT Plan: Ways to Save

Many organisations are factoring in cost reduction into their IT plan. If like many businesses you are feeling the pinch, here are some ways you can reduce your IT costs going into 2023.

License optimisation – All the different software applications and cloud services you rely on come with a multitude of subscriptions and licenses that tally up to a hefty cost. Do you monitor your software estate? Could you be oversubscribing and wasting money on licenses you don’t need? Licensing is complex, and one of the most common areas that businesses overspend.

Software Asset Management (SAM) services can help you tame an out-of-control software landscape. With the right knowledge on hand, SAM can help you maximise the value of your IT spend, consolidate services, improve resource allocation, and more. Achieving cost savings through SAM or license optimisation allows you to free up some budget for other projects and priorities. With our range of licensing services, we typically help businesses save a third on license costs. You can read how we recently helped one SMB find the opportunity to save nearly £70,000 per year through license optimisation.

Proactive IT maintenance – When your IT performs, so does your business. Technology requires proactive monitoring and maintenance to prevent downtime, keep systems secure, and ensure services are performing as they should. When your core systems fail or crash, your operations, transactions, and customer communication stops. System failures don’t just cost time and money to repair – they can cause you to lose customers and miss out on opportunities. Working with an MSP with the tools and expertise to keep downtime to a minimum is a simple way to save money and avoid unexpected costs.

Modern technology – Modern technology is more cost-effective and efficient than outdated or legacy systems. Investing in modern technology such as cloud, AI, and automation can transform business processes, speed up operations, and streamline customer interactions. This can make your business more competitive and processes more cost-effective.

Tech as a Service (TaaS) – The ‘as a Service’ approach provides a flexible way to access the latest technology and cloud services on a subscription basis, removing the expense of owning and managing your services.

TaaS prevents you from overspending as it allows you to only pay for the services you actually use. It’s also provides you with the flexibility to scale up or down your usage to meet seasonal changes and evolving business needs. Speak to your MSP about TaaS and enter 2023 with a more optimised, modern, and cost-effective approach to your technology.

Remote Working – Cloud IT enables people to work from anywhere. While it won’t work for every business, choosing a remote working model can remove the financial cost of renting or owning a physical office location. Along with these costs savings, remote working can help employees become more productive. And with its increasing popularity amongst the general workforce, it can help you access top talent.

Work with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) – 65% of midsized businesses and nearly 3 out of 4 large firms utilise an MSP. Why? Because nowadays, MSPs offer so much more than simple break/fix packages. A dedicated MSP will work with you to help you optimise your technology and services, reduce costs, find ways to improve efficiency, increase security, and achieve your IT vision.

Read our article on how a MSP can help you save money.

Get Started Today

2023 is just around the corner. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start your IT plan for the new year. The 848 Group is a Managed Service Provider and cloud IT partner to organisations across the UK and the globe. We help organisations optimise their IT strategy and achieve business objectives with technology. Whether you want to reduce costs, increase efficiency, or strengthen your security posture, our team can help.

Don’t leave it too late – book your free consultation to improve your 2023 IT plan with the 848 Group. Email us on [email protected] or call 03449 848 848.