Business room filled with people working on devices.

Modernize Technology or Get Left Behind, Survey Finds

13 Aug 2018 by Derek Doyle

Today’s business landscape is darwinist. Businesses that fail to modernize their infrastructure through an innovative IT approach will simply be left behind. While top IT professionals recognize this, the ability to manage business today while also transforming for the future is a major hurdle, according to the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index.

The Insight-commissioned survey assessed the concerns and challenges of 404 IT professionals, as well as the advantages they’re encountering. Here, we look at the findings and some pragmatic approaches your business can take toward IT transformation without losing sight of your bottom line.

A realistic look at IT budget

At first glance, it may seem IT budgets are expanding. As shown in Figure 1, 47% of survey respondents reported an average 22% increase in their 2018 IT budget over their 2017 budget. That heightened allotment can largely be attributed to the finance department, which holds significant influence over how much or, regrettably, how little budget will go toward IT needs.

24% small companies, 23% medium companies and 19% large companies
Source: 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index Figure 1

Despite that increase, however, IT budgets aren’t growing fast enough to cover the many needs of the IT department. IT budgets for large companies, in particular, were expected to rise only 19% on average in 2018, compared to a 27% increase reported in 2017.

The largest portion of IT budget allocation (43%) goes to maintaining existing equipment and infrastructure. So perhaps the budget growth is being used to nurse along older hardware.

Updating technology: A business imperative

Unfortunately, outdated hardware can leave your business vulnerable to security risks, costly maintenance and decreased productivity. And security is the chief area where IT budgets need to grow, according to the survey results.

Newer devices and software come with built-in defenses against modern security threats, and automated updates keep endpoints protected, no matter where the devices go. Upgrading can not only provide peace of mind, but also help your business accomplish more.

How? The mobility and multitasking features of modern technology solutions empower employees to complete tasks and collaborate in real time from anywhere, a useful advantage with the growing popularity of remote work.

Toward that end, a majority of companies are fully implementing or in the process of migrating to Windows 10, whether through new devices or simple software upgrades. As shown in Figure 2, almost half of companies (46%) are using devices operating Windows 10 across the organization. And another 38% are in the process of migrating to Windows 10, a strong indicator businesses are seeing the migration benefits.

46% use Windows 10 devices across their entire workforce, 25% are in the process of migrating, 13% started to phase in new devices on Windows 10
Source: 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index Figure 2

What are those benefits? Additional functionality and capabilities enhance the employee experience and promote speed, productivity and collaboration.

The upcoming 2020 end of security updates and support for Windows 7 and 8.1 provide even more reason to migrate to the mobile, productive and secure features of Windows 10.

In search of IT assistance

But despite the incentives to transition to Windows 10 and newer devices, 59% of survey respondents reported upgrading existing technology as their main obstacle when it comes to optimizing their IT infrastructure. They need help with IT transformation.

Part of the problem comes in not knowing where to start. But lacking the resources to devote to IT transformation certainly weighs in as well.

That’s why 77% of companies dedicated an average of 28% of their IT budget to managed services in 2017. They found benefit in outside expertise that frees their internal IT resources, boosts employee support, promotes greater flexibility and streamlines IT management.

Managed service providers are rising to the challenge with offerings that deliver end-user computing solutions on a business’s behalf. Insight Managed Office, for example, equips organizations with modern devices as a service, bundling devices, cloud applications and managed services as a single entity on a fixed monthly subscription.

Offerings like these exploit the capabilities of the cloud, an important move to keep today’s mobile workforce connected from wherever they are. And companies investing in cloud computing are promised a bright future, according to the survey results.

In fact, “almost 100% of companies that invested in cloud services in 2017 consider them to be beneficial to their organizations,” the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index reports.

The cloud offers an easy way to modernize technology to stay relevant to your customers, assuring a more collaborative and secure environment, better remote access, improved support, reduced expenses and quicker time to market.

A managed service provider such as Insight can help you assess your current infrastructure and develop a realistic strategy to embrace modern technology. After all, your business can’t afford to get left behind.

Get more of 2018’s trends.

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