This year has proven to be one of the most challenging years the business world has ever seen. The COVID-19 global pandemic sent IT teams all over the globe rushing to adjust their business models, methods of communications, and strategic initiatives for 2020. Organizations faced an immediate need to provide remote access to all employees and flexibility to follow the CDC guidelines to keep employees safe. Businesses were operating at warp speed to adjust budgets and operations while focusing on the short-term goal of immediate stability. CIO’s demonstrated creativity to ensure their organization could continue to function. IT teams scrambled to execute the work and prepare the business for remote operations. Managed service providers worked around the clock to provide emergency support and fend off a growing increase in cybersecurity attacks. It was an all hands on deck situation. A time for survival.
We are now nearing the end of 2020, some of the overall shock has worn off. People are settling into this adjusted routine while looking forward to starting a new year. Technology leaders around the world are now grappling with another round of challenging questions.
- How do we plan for 2021?
- Do we need to anticipate going back into the office or a reduction in remote access?
- Do we need to strategize for this style of work to continue into next year?
- How has our infrastructure solutions handled the changes that took place this year?
- Do we have any critical or soon-to-be critical problems that need to be addressed immediately in the next budget?
Facing that reality of continued uncertainty, we must focus on what we can anticipate and the goals that we want to achieve. Our experts put together this list to help you optimize your 2021 budget and enable confidence in your decisions for the future.
Planning Considerations for 2021
• Ensure continued support for flexible work policies that include remote options.
As you are strategizing for the next year, check the status of your existing flexible work policies. How did your business endure the last year working remotely? Any decisions, plans, or components you would have liked to be executed differently? Any band-aid solutions rushed through because of the emergency need? Have you received any feedback from employees sharing concerns or asking for improvements? Is your team keeping up with the demands of remote options? Do they need more support?
• Anticipate a transition back to office life.
Businesses across the globe are beginning to make determinations about what their office setup will look like once COVID-19 is no longer a serious threat. While some organizations have started to introduce in-office days, others are considering another 6-12 months before resuming office life. Having a general idea of how your business wants to proceed with this can be instrumental in helping to plan for 2021. Will your infrastructure continue to be able to withstand the need for constant flexibility? If there is an increase of devices within the network, can your security protocols continue to protect from threats and attacks? Will your communication solution enable for a quick and easy adjustment for remote work versus days in the office
• Prioritize security and threat management.
As with every other year, cybersecurity needs to be a top budget item for your organization. Review your current cybersecurity and threat management solutions to ensure they are providing the protection you need to run your business and protect your data. Remember that threats and attacks always increase when they perceive an organization is distracted and not as vigilant. Do not let these attacks get the upper hand on your business.
• Stabilize the IT infrastructure and prioritize maintenance.
Is there any infrastructure maintenance for which you need to allocate resources? Have you or your team noticed any instabilities across the infrastructure? During a period of uncertainty, take the time to designate the right resources to stabilize your infrastructure to prevent future issues. That includes reviewing the following components:
- Data storage
- Network management
- Server solutions
• Review IT inventory and replace all end of life hardware.
Being prepared is vital to continuing the success and achievements of your business during these challenging times. Now is the time to review current inventory lists and restock any depleted items. Everything from network cables to server racks should be itemized and organized into a system for easy management. This structure allows you to budget for any needed end of life hardware and to restock your inventory to prepare for the future.
We understand the stress and uncertainty surrounding planning for 2021. Our experts are here to help provide guidance and support during this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest news and updates, follow us on LinkedIn.