The COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenging time for businesses, to say the least. 2020 has been a year unlike any other, one that few could have predicted. And yet, despite the odds being against them, SMEs throughout the UK are investing heavily in their IT budget for 2021.
A new report from 3StepIT shows that UK companies plan to increase their IT budget by an impressive 16%. Many other EU countries are spending even more than that. Are they seeing an opportunity worth investing in?
Here are just a few reasons why companies around the world are boosting their IT support budget for 2021.
SMEs Can Implement Change Quicker Than Large Organisations
Anybody that’s currently part of a large organisation (or has been in the past) knows that, as a result of the sheer scale of the company, it takes time to implement change. Unfortunately, when the Coronavirus pandemic began, time wasn’t a luxury.
That being the case, SMEs were already in a much better position to adapt to the new global working environment than corporate organisations were. Some huge international businesses were slow to react. Generally, they struggled to source working-from-home equipment and re-configure IT communications. SMEs, on the other hand, quickly re-aligned their workflow and enjoyed a new business advantage.
When SMEs increase their IT spend, it means they can implement change even quicker and take advantage of new opportunities and new markets as soon as they appear. Having a swift, modern, and efficient IT network is a crucial part of that.
Whatever the future holds, SMEs need to have the IT capability to react quickly.
Remote Working Will Still Be Required
It goes without saying that everybody hopes the end of the COVID-19 outbreak isn’t far away. But what if we’re once again required to work from home in the future? Will there be circumstances down the line that mean remote operation is the safest way to work?
Large organisations have been slow to implement working from home strategies; it has been far simpler for smaller companies. And SMEs are boosting their 2021 IT budgets to build from that position of strength.
There’s also the very real possibility that for many SMEs, returning to office working would be counter-productive. Should they choose to leave their office IT behind, they’ll need to invest in new systems that staff can use to work from home, particularly taking cyber security into account.
As corporate companies lag behind and navigate a cumbersome IT infrastructure, smaller companies with well-equipped and efficient IT departments will be able to take further advantage in competitive fields.
There Will Be Future Opportunities for Growth
An IT infrastructure that is optimised, functional, and able to support business operations is an important tool. It becomes indispensable when a company is looking to expand and grow, since IT is the foundation the company is built on.
Many companies are choosing to increase their IT budget for 2021 so that they’re able to take advantage of future opportunities when they appear. SMEs have an advantage in that they’re more responsive and flexible than larger organisations. When the unexpected occurs, they’ll be able to expand and grow.
But what about the physical capability of the IT infrastructure itself? There are likely to be future IT technologies that quickly become essential, and an out-of-date IT system won’t be able to incorporate new technology easily.
Whatever the 2021 IT budget involves, SMEs would be wise to upgrade hardware, integrate new cloud-based solutions, and streamline operations. That way, when new technology becomes available, it can be quickly utilised.
There’s Reason for Optimism
SMEs are right to look forward to a positive future: the difficulty of competing in the COVID-19 market cannot be understated, and yet they’ve continued to succeed. Coming out clean on the other side will prove to small businesses that they can think quickly and adapt to changes in the market.
And make no mistake, the post-COVID industry will be a very different one. If they can survive this market, then is there any better time to grow and expand? That opportunity could bring future plans forward and prepare companies for expansion in the very near future.
Should they choose to do that, IT and telecoms will be at the heart of their ambitions.