November 2017: If you’re in the fortunate position of having leftover IT budget in 2017, it’s time to put those funds to good use. Since you need to act fast, focus on things you can purchase and execute quickly — like replacements or upgrades — rather than on things you will need to implement for the first time.
Here are 10 end-of-year budget ideas that will tee you up for a more productive 2018.
1. Ask your procurement department or IT team for a trending report on resources that are running low
Do you have servers that are running out of memory? Cloud storage that’s reaching capacity? Then it’s a good time to move those things up on the procurement calendar. Buy them in 2017 and be ready for 2018.
2. Buy new laptops sooner
Even if your next round of laptop purchases isn’t scheduled for another quarter or two, you’ll often find good deals around the holidays. Here are laptop recommendations from PC Mag and TechRadar Pro, which include top choices for ultraportables for employees who do most of their work online.
3. Replace aging peripherals
Some IT peripherals boost productivity, especially if they make workers happy. If you can catch these things on sale, all the better. Look for good deals on things like monitors (adding a second monitor can improve efficiency), headsets, projectors, and smart boards.
4. Buy new cables
Cables aren’t something you think about often but they fail over time. It’s not uncommon for organizations to overlook this weak link and use the same cables for 10 years. Now is a great time to update.
5. Improve your wireless network
Adding additional wireless access points or upgrading the ones you have can greatly improve your Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), also known as WiFi. Your team will love you for it. Follow your WLAN plan so you add availability, performance and security as you upgrade.
6. Upgrade to the latest, greatest app versions
If you’ve been putting off upgrades to Microsoft Office or any of the other business apps your team uses — or if there’s a chance you’re out of compliance with any software licenses — now is a great time to make those purchases. Get it handled in 2017 and free up some funds for more strategic IT purchases in 2018.
7. Improve your team’s health
An effective employee experience strategy looks out for your team’s overall well-being so take a look at standing desk converters for computers and laptops. Ergonomic keyboards and mice help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other ailments and anti-glare filters for monitors help with eye fatigue. There are plenty of reasons why Fitbits for group health at work are so popular and effective.
8. Security cameras
If the physical perimeter of your office campus isn’t covered by security cameras yet, now is a great time to fill that gap. Surveillance cameras are part of building a figurative moat around your IT fort.
9. Update your Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) devices
Using your leftover 2017 IT budget to replace the batteries in your current UPS devices or get new ones is money well spent — they don’t last forever. If you’re not sure how old the batteries are, replace the UPS devices entirely so you don’t take a productivity hit if the power goes down.
10. Sign up for security awareness training
Staying up to date on the best ways to thwart hackers, social engineers and other scammers isn’t intuitive. Your team needs security awareness training. If you currently don’t subscribe to an e-learning platform, it’s an excellent way to protect your organization while investing the last of your 2017 budget.
Leapfrog Services helps our clients with their IT budgeting process no matter what time of year — we help create strategic IT blueprints that map out the next several years, develop strategies to prioritize and allocate resources for each year’s budget, and procure last-minute deals for end-of-year spending. For a better understanding of our approach to budgeting, you can download our tech brief, IT Budget Strategies For 2018. If you want our input on how to better budget for the coming years, please feel free to contact us so we can discuss our services.
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