Why Your Business Needs an IT Plan in 2023
Key Points in This Article:
- An IT plan for 2023 is critical for businesses of all sizes and industries.
- Businesses today must navigate substantial supply chain shortages, economic volatility, and cyber threats of unprecedented scale and scope.
- Many businesses find it helpful to work with a reputable MSP to help draft and implement effective annual IT plans.
Do you have an IT plan for 2023?
If not, you must take the time to draft one today. It's more important to have an IT plan today than ever before.
Today's businesses are dealing with supply chain issues, economic insecurity, and cyber threats at an unprecedented scale. The right plan will help you plan your expenditures and upgrades while helping you ensure your infrastructure can meet evolving operational needs. And without the right IT plan to help your business navigate these volatile times, you could be facing costly expenses, system failures, or disastrous cyber attacks.
Managing Your Supply Chain
Since the pandemic, businesses across industries have faced critical shortfalls in essential equipment, products, and parts. Many of these shortages directly resulted from COVID-19-driven lockouts that impeded distribution chains. As the pandemic receded, supply chain disruptions decreased in specific sectors and regions. However, within the IT industry, key deficits remain, with many showing no signs of abating.
The most widely reported of these is the semiconductor shortage. The demand for semiconductors has grown considerably, driven partly by the shift to remote and hybrid work and the need for more devices. As automakers electrify their fleets and cryptocurrency mining increases, the demand has grown even higher. And as entrepreneurs develop new connected products or connect old ones to the Internet, semiconductor orders remain elevated beyond pre-pandemic levels.
But semiconductors aren't the only components in short supply. Raw materials like lithium, used for batteries in portable electronic devices, are also in high demand. And when supplies like these are low, businesses face higher prices for on-time fulfillment. Even with increased costs, some businesses may still delay receiving the necessary equipment.
Without a plan to shore up your supply chain in the face of these challenges, you could spend substantially more money than you need to - or can spend comfortably.
Navigating Economic Uncertainty
Even if you're flush with cash, you can't afford to spend more than you need. Most economists predict that the U.S. and many other nations are facing an imminent recession. Many consumers believe we're already in one. Even if we're not, consumers across the globe have been grappling with rising inflation, labor market volatility, and lingering anxiety from the pandemic. Consumer sentiment has whipsawed over the past three years and could plunge again quickly. Businesses like yours can't afford to make mistakes regarding major expenditures like IT equipment and services.
But it's also not the time to bury your head in the sand. Many business leaders, fearing the worst, will put off all IT and other significant expenditures until periods of volatility pass. However, historically, many of these businesses have forgone needed IT upgrades and critical investments that they regret. Excessive downtime, data loss, and degraded cyber defenses have made it harder for them to operate just when they need to operate at peak efficiency.
Instead of sitting on your hands, it's time to determine what IT investments are essential for your current and future operational needs, prioritize them, and obtain and deploy those you have the time and resources for in 2023. Doing so effectively requires a plan.
Securing Your Business
Not only do you need to shore up your supply chain and plan for your current and future operational needs. You've also got to remain on top of your business's cybersecurity. In periods like these, criminals and hackers thrive. And with more electronic financial transactions than ever, they're targeting companies like yours each day with increasingly sophisticated schemes and attacks.
Your 2023 IT plan should include a review of your existing cybersecurity, cyber awareness training, backup and recovery, and business continuity plans. It should also include a review of your cyber liability insurance. If you don't have such a policy, your first order of business should be to obtain one. Without one, you're on the hook for whatever financial damage arises from a successful cyber-attack or data breach. And those costs could range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars.
Before issuing your business a cyber liability policy, an insurance company will want to know how much of a cybersecurity risk you pose and how likely you are to file a claim. The more safeguards you have, the less of a risk you pose. The less risk you pose, the lower your cyber liability insurance premiums. And if you already have a policy, taking a hard look at your operating environment and making specific changes could help you lower your premiums.
When you've committed to reviewing and refreshing existing cybersecurity measures and implementing new necessary ones, you can secure an appropriate amount of insurance coverage to protect your business. That commitment should be a core priority for your IT team in 2023.
Developing the Right IT Plan
So, understanding how important having a plan is, means you're ready to draft one, right?
Not necessarily. Crafting the right plan takes time - time you need to manage the daily operational needs of the business. Determining the right combination of suppliers, appropriate equipment and resource needs, and suitable cybersecurity defenses for a business of your size and in your industry, while refreshing existing internal IT plans could take a month or more. Half the year could be gone by the time you get around to implementing the changes you need to make.
That's why working with a trusted IT provider who can do the heavy lifting for you is vital. Working with a reputable managed service provider (MSP) gives you the outside objective perspective you need. They can help you determine how to align your IT projects with your business goals, how to minimize your expenditures while maximizing IT return, and how to safeguard and secure your business.
Collaborating with an MSP can also help you implement your IT plan more quickly and effectively. You can free your staff up to help drive revenue-generating activities and manage operational needs. And you can chart the right course for your business throughout 2023 and beyond.