Why setting your IT budget for 2021 will be both harder AND easier than ever

Looking out of the window at this time of the year, you see the leaves turning that magnificent auburn colour before descending to the ground. It's most likely dark, as the light is dwindling earlier and earlier in the evening. This is all a reminder that this past year is all but on its way out, making way for a fresh start and a new year on the horizon.

It’s about this time of year that many IT leaders and technical minded business owners will be setting their budgets for 2021. They will probably be trying to persuade a boardroom, or justifying investment to themselves, as to why they should put more money into technology and infrastructure.

When the pandemic struck, many 2020 budgets were blown out of proportion. According to a recent survey, during the first 3 months of the crisis IT budgets grew at a faster rate than at any point in history. We all know how this affects cashflow. Lots of businesses spend more money than expected on changes to infrastructure due to the necessities of the situation. They then end up having to cut budgets elsewhere to make up for emergency expense.

Unsurprisingly, working from home became the top priority of many businesses looking for solutions to social distancing measures. Even well established and seemingly unbreakable businesses had to make many changes that they were not prepared for.

The top areas for IT expenditure include infrastructure modernisation, cloud services and solutions, digital change management and cyber security. It is very clear that these four areas — the core of many businesses and daily functions — have become even more important over the recent months. Investment, undeniably, is accelerating.

Organisations are speeding up their transformation into the digital age. They are moving to the cloud faster, enhancing their cyber security and upgrading their networks and infrastructure at faster and faster rates.

With all of this in mind, the proof is in the pudding. Next year will undeniably be one of the hardest years to forecast in terms of needs and potential costs. Budgets will be scrutinised more than ever due to an abundance of caution. However, technology has proven to be at the heart of businesses all throughout this year. It has helped those who can utilise it to its full potential to be resilient through difficult times.

With a focus on modernising your IT, accelerating your digital transformations and migrating to the cloud, your return on investment should bring a ray of sunshine to an otherwise cold and blustery day.