Small business owners have a lot to think about going into 2023. Inflation, cybersecurity threats, and the employee shift, such as the Great Resignation, are important topics to consider when strategizing technology purchases and planning for next year. Looking at the technology landscape, there are specific insights business owners and team members need to track and prepare for.
Technology Insights for 2023
1. Your business can expect some tech stack and phone system upgrades.
Vendors, such as Microsoft, will continue to ask small businesses to upgrade their tech stack as they discontinue support for older systems. Small businesses will not be required to purchase the newly released programs, but those released in the past several years should be adopted.
Keeping your system updated eliminates security vulnerabilities with specific software and hardware. Upgrading also aids network performance and office productivity. Plus, SMBs don’t have to be concerned about where they will obtain support for aging software and operating systems.
For example, Microsoft will reach its end of support for Windows Server 2012 in October 2023. They will no longer provide technical support and are recommending that subscribers migrate applications and workloads to Azure to maintain security. System Admins are advised to upgrade their systems to Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2019. If customers cannot meet the end-of-support deadline, they can buy Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012, but Microsoft highly recommends upgrading.
For companies who did not change out their phone systems during the pandemic, be prepared to switch to another on-premise system or a more flexible option, such as cloud solutions.
Many small businesses are still running Toshiba phone systems that reached their end of support. As a result, managed service providers are asking their customers to update their phone systems to avoid hardware failures, increased company downtime, and poor customer experience.
2. IT spending will increase in 2023.
Business owners should be aware of the increasing costs of technology hardware, software, and other tools. Inflation might influence small businesses to shrink their IT budgets when they actually need to increase their spending, particularly on security programs. In the coming year, businesses will continue to see a spike in cybersecurity activity, increasing the chances of a successful attack.
Now that many businesses are settling into a remote work/hybrid work structure, laptops and docking stations are more prevalent than desktop PCs. And for security purposes, new hires will be provided the tech equipment they need to complete their objectives rather than using their own devices for work.
This transition could save small businesses money, as updating personal computers for professional purposes is expensive. If the personal computers are too old to run the software you use in the office, the user may lack support and security on their device. Your staff may experience increased downtime, costly repairs, maintenance, or a successful cyberattack by not providing the proper equipment.
3. Small businesses will see equipment orders move at a faster pace, however...
As small businesses continue to increase spending on equipment for business or staff, product requests for hardware, accessories, and chips will increase. Although factory workers returning to their job sites will speed up manufacturing, thus delivering hardware faster, placing your orders for new equipment as far ahead as you can for the best price is important.
Purchasing equipment before hiring a new employee or upgrading your tech stack is highly recommended. Communicate with your IT provider about your business needs as soon as possible, so they have ample time to find the right products and solutions to fit the budget.
4. The adoption of cloud solutions in hybrid offices will continue as faster internet rolls out.
Your internet connection speed will become increasingly significant as small businesses move their applications, file storage, and data to the cloud. Companies will shift toward fiber or 5G services, and using older internet connections, such as wiring or DSL, will become irrelevant.
To fulfill the need for faster internet, services such as Great Plains, CenturyLink, and Google FI plan to take advantage of their fiber and 5G coverage. The evolution of a speedier internet could potentially result in the redundancy of in-house internet, allowing employees to work from home or anywhere else without worrying about internet speed.
5. Microsoft produces integrations to make Teams and M365 subscriptions more valuable.
As the business operations giant, Microsoft will continue to drive attention and integrations into their core systems- Microsoft Teams and M365. While Microsoft Teams already has many integrations, educational, strategy, and health programs will soon be available for subscribers at no extra cost.
M365 will provide cost-effective solutions for small businesses looking to move their files from their on-premises devices or third-party file system, such as Dropbox, to Microsoft OneDrive. While small businesses might not save much, the subscription benefits supplied with M365 provide higher data security, productivity rates, and collaboration.
6. Cyber insurance requirements will become more stringent going into 2023.
In the past year, the costs of ransomware have skyrocketed, and cybersecurity insurers want to prevent large payouts. Insurers are raising premiums and implementing more limited coverage, requiring all organizations to put cybersecurity as their top priority.
Small businesses can navigate these restrictions by partnering with a security-managed service provider to roll out the necessary tools. Implementing security tools and procedures such as password managers, multi-factor authentication, advanced threat protection, staff training, and proactive monitoring will protect your small to midsize business.
Are you ready for 2023?
Designing the right tech stack shouldn’t be something a business owner does on their own. As you enter 2023, be certain you have the best technical support and expertise for your business. With experience spanning two decades, we’d love to meet with you and find out how your IT will take you where you need to go next.
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