Leverage Your Technology Budget Surplus

technology budgetAs the end of the fiscal year approaches for many businesses and organizations, managers often comb through their budgets in search of unused funds. Your technology budget should no exception.

Electronic equipment and IT network needs can easily be neglected until something forces you to spend money on them—for example, waiting until a computer fails completely before replacing it, or offering cybersecurity training after your business has been attacked.

Once your fiscal year is over, surplus funds might not be available to make such purchases. So here are some ideas for last-minute expenditures from your technology budget:

Cyber Awareness Training

The majority of successful cyber attacks begin with an employee who simply isn’t aware of how to prevent them. A little training now can save you a lot of time and money later. Possible areas to cover include:

  • General security best practices (lock your computer when you leave your desk, don’t share your password, don’t keep written passwords near your monitor)
  • Ideal passwords (use of phrases, complexity, common ones to avoid)
  • How to spot malicious emails
  • What to do when you think you’ve been hacked

Cyber awareness training can be as little as a few dollars per month per employee—a small price to pay for the added security it provides. Your end-of fiscal-year dollars can easily be used to initiate such a program at your business or organization.

Penetration Testing

Also called pen testing or ethical hacking, penetration testing is performed on a computer system, network or web application to find security vulnerabilities that an attacker could exploit. During such a test, entry points are identified and attempts are made to break in to your system. The findings are reported when the test is complete.

Penetration testing can be an automated process (there are software applications for this purpose) or done manually. Regardless of which you choose, it’s a great way to help maintain your network’s readiness for attack without taking a huge bite from your technology budget.

Audio/Visual Equipment

Nothing derails a meeting faster than audio or visual equipment that doesn’t work properly. Attendees can miss important details if someone mutters and your audio doesn’t pick it up. You’ve likely seen a whiteboard erased before you could copy the intricate flow chart that was just on it. And we all know the pain of not being able to share our screens due to technical difficulties.

While you don’t have bust your technology budget on the most expensive products, quality equipment can make a big difference when sharing information or presenting to a client. Does your conference room projector display an image that can only be viewed in a very dark room? Does a scratchy speakerphone serve as your only audio? If so, an upgrade is likely in order. Here are a few ideas:

  • A new projector with high brightness and contrast ratios is more clearly visible, even with the lights on. A large 4K TV hanging on the wall also makes for a great presentation.
  • Multiple speakers and microphones will help make sure nobody misses critical information.
  • Quality video cameras enable face-to-face conferencing between people, improving participation and comprehension while reducing travel costs.
  • Interactive whiteboards allow you to immediately download, share and archive whatever you’ve written on them. (No more frantic copying or taking pictures with your phone!)

So don’t let those unspent funds go to waste! Use them to beef up your IT environment or audio/visual capabilities and enhance your workplace. And contact our Technology Services Consulting team for more ideas on how to leverage your technology budget now and throughout the fiscal year.

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