As you compile your organization’s IT budget for 2020, a familiar concern will likely top the list: security. According to a survey by TechRepublic, security and cloud services are the two top priorities heading into the new year, but other priorities are gaining in importance.
While priorities have changed, IT budgets still comprise an average of 10% of total budget spending heading into 2020. We have identified some considerations for planning your organization’s IT budget for the coming year.
Software and Hardware Updates
Making room in your budget for software security upgrades is critical. While some, such as Microsoft Office 365, automatically push out updates and patches, it’s important to stay on top of third-party patching for your Windows devices. Third-party patches from Adobe, Google Chrome or Flash should be easy but can be a hassle. Investing in patch management software will help keep you secure while saving time and resources.
Going into each new year, it’s important to consider the state of your hardware to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and security. Consider the following:
- Do your PCs and servers still have enough storage space?
- How old is your current hardware?
- Are your devices running slow?
- Is your network running slow?
Consider investing in a Managed Services package to cover all hardware and software management.
Cybersecurity Monitoring and Training
Ransomware and malware continue to be major threats for business owners and IT professionals. Incorporating a 24/7/365 cybersecurity monitoring solution allows trained professionals to act on threats to your network in real time. This keeps your organization safe from cybercrime while staying compliant at the same time.
Education is a key factor in prevention and Security Awareness Training is a cost-effective way to train employees to notice warning signs and stop an attack before it strikes. Data shows employees who are tested show a drop in phish-prone percentage from an average of 15.9 % to 1.2 % in just 12 months.
Microsoft End-of-Support Applications
Several of Microsoft’s applications, including Windows 7 will no longer be supported. Any applications that are being used after their end-of-support date immediately become a threat to your network since they will no longer be patched for vulnerabilities. Additional Microsoft products reaching end-of-support in 2020 include:
- Hyper-V Server 2008 (January 14, 2020)
- Windows Server 2008 (January 14, 2020)
- Internet Explorer 10 (January 31, 2020)
- Office 2010 – Including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (October 13, 2020)
- SharePoint 2010 (October 13, 2020)
Additionally, Windows 10, versions 1809, 1903 and Systems Center, version 1807, will move into retirement in 2020. Upon retirement and end-of-support, these products will no longer receive new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates.