Category: Series

COVID-19 hit. Now what? How do you spend your IT budget?

Round 1
COVID-19 hit. Now what? How do you spend your IT budget?
COVID 19 Budget

COVID-19 hit, and all your employees went home to work. We all thought this would be temporary, last only a few weeks, maybe a month… Employers are now seeing remote work is possible. Users can be efficient from a spare bedroom. What does this mean for IT? How can we make sure our company is secure? How do we optimize our budget? Let’s talk.

Define what will need to be accessed by employees within the LAN.
Step 1

Let’s review what will need to be accessed by employees. Commonly, file servers are still used by many small to mid-sized businesses for their low cost and easy management. While this is ideal when employees are onsite, you are now seeing your firewall maxed out with VPN connections and slow transmission speeds for your users downloading and constantly accessing large files. Solutions such as Egnyte, Dropbox and SharePoint can offload your data to a secure site while still enabling IT to manage the security of the files, confidently handle disaster recovery and give employees a satisfactory experience.

Next, you have applications on local servers. Consider VDI or Remote Desktop to minimize access. By using VDI, we can narrow down VPN access to one entry point and control the traffic. VDI will also give you the ability to increase resources to the backend of the infrastructure to, you guessed it, improve your user experience!

The key to success here is to keep thinking, constantly review your environment. What do your users need access to? Ask why. Shutdown, remove or lockdown the areas that will not need to be accessed remotely.

Decide what applications can be moved to a cloud environment.
Step 2

Can we offload old applications? How many times are we hanging onto legacy apps or databases for no reason other than lack of time or the disruption to users? Well now disruption is everyday! Now is the time to review these systems. Is there a better cloud app out there? In most cases, a couple minutes of “Googling” lands you a solution someone with the same problem decided to fix and sell.

Selling these applications to the CEO can be easy. Remind him how Joe spends 3 hours each day connecting to VPN, opening an SRSS report, running a report, exporting to CSV, formatting, and saving to PDF only to email it to 30 colleagues. This new app automatically emails the report every morning and there’s a mobile app! Sold! Another server decommissioned and more users off VPN.

Spend the time to understand what your users need to be successful. Use this knowledge to present new solutions.

Review your security and device management. Do you still have the same control?
Step 3

Are you still in control? How are you handling group policies and windows patching? The traditional SCCM build isn’t going to work if no one is connecting to VPN. Consider solutions such as Azure Admin Center, Datto, PolicyPAK, ManageEngine or VMware Workspace One. All provide many tools to help with RMM, group policies, software installs and windows patching for your remote users.

What can you reduce or remove from your internal network which is no longer useful?
Step 4

Identify areas of your network that are no longer used. We’ve just looked at areas where you will need to spend money to improve the experience of your employees and also to keep them secure. Now we need to identify where we can reduce cost.

Look at your circuits, do you have empty offices or servers with less applications that can be combined. Review the use of your PRIs and VOIP platform. Finding areas to reduce cost and using that budget to optimize your infrastructure with new technology is proof of a successful IT professional.

Speak with your CEO. Understand the long-term vision
Wrap up

Key to any changes you make, is to be aligned with your company. Speak with the President, CEO or board. Understand the needs and direction they plan to take long term. Your agility to adapt to their vision will solidify the success of your department.

Everound has been successfully engaging and supporting businesses to adapt to this new era of remote workers. From every facet of a company’s IT, we can assist, from employee experience to data center to cyber security and much more. If you need assistance transitioning your company to a work from home environment, we can help. Contact us today using the contact form below or by calling us at +1 717.312.5890!