SMBs Increase IT Spending in 2023
According to technology and consulting firm Analysys Mason, small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) will spend more than $1.45 trillion on IT in 2023. This spending represents a 6% growth over 2022. What’s driving this investment? While thoughts of a recession swirl, many SMBs, having weathered the pandemic, feel confident about their businesses. They are seeking IT partnerships that will help fuel their revenue and company growth.
As a managed services provider (MSP) with 21+ years of serving small and medium size businesses, we are asked the following questions the most:
- What do I need?
- What is it going cost?
- What’s the impact on my staff?
Important questions, all. As we guide clients through 2023, there are specific areas where we recommend SMBs concentrate their efforts: infrastructure, security systems and service solutions. This investment will pay dividends by securing IT assets and supporting staff productivity.
The pandemic and the resulting work from home (WFH) movement illustrated the need for cloud-based services and accessible collaboration tools. This trend will continue into 2023 as SMBs continue to WFH or hybrid staffing models.
Cloud based services rely upon the internet to enable users to store data, run applications and access processing power on servers owned by a cloud provider. Users are essentially renting storage space.
idg.com reports that many SMBs are utilizing a mix of cloud services and traditional IT infrastructure. The organization reports that SMB network management strategies employ 53% traditional non-cloud infrastructure, with 48% software as a service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Small businesses are migrating to specific cloud-based services like Office365 (SaaS), Sharepoint (SaaS), Azure (PaaS), or Google for Business (SaaS). These are solid first steps for SMB cloud services. With your managed services provider (MSP), evaluate your current network infrastructure to develop priorities and a strategic plan to maximize the benefits of cloud computing.
Fact: Working from home increases cyberattack frequency by 238%.
Security and cyber resilience
Cybersecurity, and the newer term, cyber resilience, will continue to dominate the headlines for SMBs. Cyber resilience is an organization’s capacity to both anticipate and recover from a cyber event without significant interruption to the business.
To repeat an often-cited statistic, 61% of small business were cyber targets in 2021. 76% of SMBs reported that they have increased cybersecurity spending, noting their concern with cyberthreats.
Develop a comprehensive cyber resilience plan with your IT team. The plan should include a strong network security stack, employee education, and process strategies in the event of a cyber-attack. These are vital elements of a security plan, especially if your team works remotely.
Your company’s IT security stacks should address workstation security patching, zero trust infrastructure, multi-factor authentication, malware/virus/spam filtering, Security Event and Incident Management (SEIM), and Security Awareness Training.
Most small businesses have used antivirus and antimalware for years. Fewer have upgraded systems to include multi-factor authentication for VPNs/Office 365/Gmail and zero-trust based applications to detect and repel cyber-attacks. 2023 is the year to make these additions.
Full Service Outsourced IT
Small business owners recognize that they can no longer DIY IT management and support. In “the old days” small business owners and startups cobbled together IT, often using friends, family, and an array of quick, online tools to manage their computer needs. It seemed easier, friendlier, and less costly.
Cybersecurity and the cost of cyberattacks have almost eliminated this practice. Business owners now engage with an MSP or other professional IT management support system early in the company’s lifecycle. In 2023, SMBs are looking for a complete IT solution, that includes consultative sales, fee-free onboarding, account management, and specific client account management and collaborative communication.
Working through 2023, keep these priorities front and center as you consider your IT management. A proactive investment today may prevent a substantial threat to your business and a significant financial loss.
Focus Data Solutions has offered managed IT services to the SMB market for 21+ years. Based in Alexandria, VA, we serve the Washington DC area.