As the year, and decade, comes to an end, many Hybridge clients are working with us on their IT strategy and budgets for the coming year. If you are already a Hybridge client then we will have migrated most, if not all, your essential services to the Cloud, which both lowers total cost and makes costs more predictable, but there are other line items to consider. Here are a few recommendations to keep in mind when planning your IT budget for the year:
- Replacing/Upgrading Insecure Operating Systems - Currently most companies are in the process or either upgrading or replacing their current Windows 7 and Server 2008 computers with Windows 10 and Server 2019 machines as Windows 7/2008 will be End of Life on 01/14/2020. If you haven’t already you should budget to complete the computer upgrade/replacement for all your users early in the new year. It is likely this will also require some application upgrades since older versions of Office and Acrobat, for example, cannot be transferred to new Windows 10 computers.
- Office Moves: Plan for the network - If you have an upcoming office move or are opening another branch, please involve Hybridge early to help plan your network, power, phone, and audio/visual needs. We will be happy to do a walkthrough of the space with you to highlight what you need. Typically network infrastructure is considered “tenant improvements” and is not provided by the landlord unless it is negotiated as part of the lease. Also, if the space is being demised from a larger space there is a good chance that the existing network cables will be cut, so replacement of those should be planned for.
- Network Upgrades - After several years of stasis there are some new network technologies that mean it might be time to upgrade your network. Virtual Reality, AI, and video-heavy clients can benefit from 10GBase-T, ten times faster than the gigabit Ethernet we’ve been using for the past 20 years or so. And on the WiFi side, the new WiFi-6 standard enables much higher device density than previous 802.11 a/n, so for sure if you are using first generation Meraki MR16 or MR18 access points we should upgrade those.
- Security - the weakest link in security is the user, the vast majority of breaches are caused by users clicking on emails or falling for phishing attacks. Because of this, Hybridge offers a variety of security training, from awareness/best practices to a robust, compliant set of online training with individual testing and certification, and ongoing “white hat” phishing and penetration attacks. While individually these services are not expensive, covering your whole team should be a budget line-item in 2020.
IT budgets are a joint effort between business functions, executive leadership, and external domain experts like Hybridge, to make sure the business goals will be supported by the IT infrastructure. We are happy to meet with you and advise on options, alternatives and provides best practices.
Feel free to contact us at support @ hybridge.com or by phone at 888-353-1763 if you have any questions about your upcoming IT budget, as we are here to serve you!