How To Get More Out Of Your 2022 IT Budget

By Chris Hope, Senior Director of IT & Security, One Source

At the end of 2020, many IT leaders and teams were facing budget constraints as uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic surged on. The impact of the pandemic and the corresponding transition to remote and hybrid workforces stressed the importance of agility in organizations. IT leaders were expected to deliver larger results with flat or shrinking budgets during a year where demand for innovation to meet business goals intensified.

Transitioning into 2022, we are hearing a different tune. IT budgets are expected to grow by 3.6% – the fastest year-over-year growth rate in more than a decade according to the 2022 Gartner CIO and Technology Executive Survey. The reactive phase of the pandemic is largely over with CIO’s looking to invest in new technologies that will accelerate opportunities and help guard businesses against the volatility caused by outside factors like the pandemic. IT is largely becoming the heart of an organization’s goals and values, changing how the IT budget is spent.

With this shift in IT budgeting, it’s important to understand trends in technology investment and how you can get the most out of your IT budget in 2022. Below are 3 trends you need to be aware of that can help you make decisions that will maximize your budget:

  1. Reducing Your Legacy Telecom – There are multiple legacy telecom solutions that are in your best interest to replace this year to save money and ensure efficiency within your organization. For one, the FCC has approved carriers to abandon POTS lines and increase pricing across the US in 2022. Price increases will be more unpredictable as more subscribers discontinue service. POTS infrastructure is often linked not only to voice lines, but security alarms, fire alarms, elevator communications, point-of-sale terminals, and more. Converting this legacy technology over to one of several options – like Cable, Fiber, VoIP, UCaaS, or Wireless 4G LTE – will help to avoid price spikes and downtime to these technologies if your carrier decides to discontinue, or more likely, massively increase pricing for the service through POTS.
    Additionally, as more and more companies move to the cloud many traditional telecom solutions need to be replaced to support that transition. Cloud-based telephony solutions, like Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), are increasingly viable alternatives to platforms such as VoIP and TDM, to support data’s wide-scale move to the cloud. This push towards the cloud also means WAN is no longer a suitable option because backhauling all traffic – including that destined to the cloud – from branch offices to the headquarters introduces latency and impairs application performance. SD-WAN provides WAN simplification, lower costs, bandwidth efficiency, and a seamless on-ramp to the cloud with significant application performance without sacrificing data security.
  2. Moving to the Cloud and Cloud Automation – As mentioned above, more and more organizations are migrating over to the cloud. According to a survey, cloud usage among respondents has grown to 90%, while 48% say they plan to migrate half or more of their apps to the cloud in 2022. While there is the potential to reduce operational costs, many companies who adopt the cloud will see costs remain the same. The real benefits lie in achieving speed, flexibility, agility, and improved security. With many organizations having already migrated over to the cloud, cloud automation becomes important. This refers to the processes and tools that reduce or eliminate manual efforts used to provision and manage cloud computing workloads and services. This allows IT teams to speed up the delivery of infrastructure resources and keep up with business changes.
  3. Outsourcing to Specialized Domestic Service Providers – In recent years, enterprises have been outsourcing their IT to offshore international service companies. It’s no secret that there has been a labor shortage in the IT and security space for years. The increased demand for these technology professionals has in turn made it a hefty investment to employ these professionals to work onsite for enterprises, so many looked to outsource IT functions.
    Recently, there has been a shift towards outsourcing to domestic service providers rather than those offshore. The explosion of remote work in the last two years has exposed large gaps in the abilities of providers overseas. Unexpected costs due to new technologies and processes added to support remote employees, with a slow turnaround in adopting those technologies, have thrown a wrench in many enterprises’ offshore IT plans. Large enterprises have also experienced a failure by offshore providers in understanding their core business values, causing providers to be unable to prioritize the work that will be the greatest benefit to their business. On top of that, businesses have seen the reduced quality of support and service from their overseas providers.
    These reasons, among others, have contributed to the trend in enterprises delaying or canceling their offshore IT plans. Rather than going back to hiring in-house IT teams, many enterprises are looking to more local or regional service providers with higher service levels. This allows organizations to implement technologies quicker, save on costs and FTE’s, and ensure business values and goals are understood and achieved.

These three trends are important in enabling organizations and their IT teams to make decisions that will uncover cost savings, keep their organization growing, and discover solutions that allow for flexibility and agility. In 2022, it’s prudent that IT leaders continue to advance and support upgrades in IT infrastructure to maintain a competitive advantage and meet the growing demand for innovation.

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