2020 has taught us a lot about cybersecurity and our vulnerabilities. Approaching the end of the year, many businesses are assessing current systems, reviewing business continuity plans, and finalizing IT budgets for 2021.

If you have not already, now is the time to debrief on what went well and what needs improvement. It may also be the time to brainstorm about years ahead and how to strategize your IT plans to be even better next time – think about implementing frequent strategy sessions throughout the year to ensure your technology supports your business goals and protects your infrastructure.

Remember: Compliance standards can be added and redefined throughout the year. Meeting with your IT partner once a quarter will ensure you are addressing any recent changes to regulations.

Procrastination may delay progress and can cause risks when it comes to cybersecurity. 2020 is coming to an end, so here are four great tips to ponder over while you prepare your end of year IT planning:

    1. Conduct Technology Assessments

Technology assessments measure the performance and effectiveness of your internal systems. An assessment helps your IT team identify insufficiencies and gaps in your technology. They will determine if your tech supports your current needs for performance, security, and compliance, among other areas.

An assessment also helps your IT team identify what you might need for future growth and business goals. For many organizations, this year’s transition to remote work highlighted the need for technology that provides greater mobility, increased collaboration, and robust cybersecurity solutions.

    2. Budget for Replacements and Additional Costs

While you are drafting and revising budgets for 2021, it’s an appropriate time to think about what you will be spending next year compared to this. Are there ways to save money? Is it time to switch from a major purchase, long-term Capital Expenditures (CapEx) model to a day-to-day, ordinary and necessary expense Operating Expenditures (OpEx) model? If so, there are ways you could make future spending more predictable by only paying for the capacity you need when you need it. Contact your IT partner to determine if this switch is the right move for your business next year.

You should also think about warranty renewals, which are seamless ways to extend shelf life on your hardware. If the costs associated with renewals are not desirable for your business, it could be worth comparing prices for replacement equipment to ensure your systems remain up to date without facing failure. Determine what your business may need and anticipate additional costs that may tag along with upgrading or protecting vulnerable hardware.

    3. Make Cybersecurity a Priority

From ransomware to phishing attacks, 2020 has demonstrated the need for a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Cybercriminals are opportunists looking for your company’s weaknesses. To maintain security and compliance, organizations need a layered approach with solutions like vulnerability management, data governance, endpoint protection, and active monitoring.

If you do not have any in-house security expertise, consider an IT security partner like Coretelligent. Working with an IT security partner can offer access to more robust security tools and experts with specialized skills like forensic analysis.

    4. Schedule Testing Early

Every business should conduct yearly disaster recovery and penetration testing. These tests ensure your recovery plan and systems are functioning correctly and identify gaps in your security. Organizations tend to wait until the end of the year to conduct testing. Disaster recovery and penetration testing can be time-consuming and somewhat disruptive, which is why scheduling it during the holidays is highly desirable for many businesses. Organizations that wait until the end of the year may experience delays due to the high volume of requests. To avoid waiting in line, try to schedule your testing a year in advance. Could you take advantage of fluctuations in your organization’s workflow? Perhaps you could schedule testing during the summer or a popular vacation week.

A New Year of Possibilities

You may not be able to prepare for all the surprises that 2021 will bring, but the right IT partner can provide a solid foundation with a combination of industry expertise and innovative solutions. Coretelligent’s white-glove approach allows clients to focus on their business instead of IT. Our experts provide strategic guidance for critical IT decisions. They work with you to develop a strategic IT roadmap that aligns with your business goals.

Your security is our priority. CoreArmor, our cybersecurity solution, provides superior threat protection with around the clock monitoring with human analysis from our U.S. based in-house Security Operations Center.

Are you looking to start 2021 with a new MSP? Coretelligent provides clients with the strategic guidance they need to make critical IT decisions. Call us at 855-841-5888 or contact us to learn how Coretelligent’s strategic planning services and managed support can help your business achieve its goals.

View our Technology Checklist to learn how your investment management firm can utilize technology to achieve greater alpha.

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