COVID19 has transformed businesses like never before. This means that companies not able to provide remote services including cruise lines, cinemas, restaurants, etc. have no option but to cut IT costs.
Unfortunately, many software houses and businesses in the finance, health and fintech niche are also going for budget cuts in the IT department. While many business executives proceed with budget cuts, they need to think outside the box and consider ransomware before getting too comfortable.
Here are technical reasons you need to consider before cutting budgets for the IT department:
1. You need updated anti-virus programs
A lot of business executives often fail to provide budgets for renewing license keys for antivirus programs like Kaspersky, Norton, McAffee, etc. they believe it was a waste of money last year and so would it be this year too.
Having renewed license keys ensure up-to-date anti-virus protection, essential for preventing and mitigating a ransomware attack and could be one reason why your organization didn’t suffer from one.
Not renewing those keys is disastrous. Merely saving a couple of hundreds or even thousands of dollars isn’t a wise financial decision.
2. Salary cuts for IT department will worsen the situation
Due to COVID-19, there has been a 600% uptick witnessed in cybercrime, especially ransomware attacks. Your IT department is the first and only line of defense well-equipped to tackle these threat actors. And that’s only possible if they are motivated, provided with the right tools and promised zero-salary cuts.
Many businesses have been forced to either slash down their staff or cut their salaries. But when it comes to the IT department, responsible for keeping you afloat during the crises, they need your support.
Cutting salaries and budgets will only worsen the situation, demotivating your IT staff. Given the high demand of cybersecurity professionals, they can easily relocate to other firms offering lucrative compensations. By doing so, you don’t want to miss out on the top talent to keep you secure round the clock.
3. Don’t fire your important staff
This goes in line with point #2. Your core staff members that keep you going through the pandemic is your IT and technical department. While it is understood that budget cuts are getting inevitable due to the financial pressure created by COVID-19, don’t fire your core staff. By firing them, you are causing immeasurable loss to your business.
4. Limit non-essential staff
You can furlough non-essential staff and only allow essential staff members to work at office. This will ensure social distancing measures in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID19. Alongside this, you’ll also be able to save on costs by furloughing non-essential staff.
5. Focus on essential cost-saving items
Target those items that will have a real cash impact on the profit and loss statement rather than noncash items like depreciation or amortization.
For example, cost savings in cloud services have a real cash impact, as opposed to reducing on-premises software licenses or owned assets like hardware. Selling and leasing back assets can provide real cash savings as well.
6. Look for fixed and variable costs
In any business, there are two types of costs, fixed and variable. You can’t control your fixed costs such as rent, and fixed service charges. But what you can do is minimize your operational and variable costs to save on your business expenses.
As an example, you can minimize costs associated with cloud storage by using your external hard drives as backup sources. However, it is important not to compromise on annual yearly software renewal costs as they are important to keeping your network secure against ransomware attacks.
7. Think about long term
It is important to understand that COVID19 has forced businesses like yours in cutting costs to stay afloat, avoiding bankruptcies. But at the same time, you need to think for the long term. Till the time your business is suffered, salary cuts can be justified. But the moment your business starts picking up, you need to get back on your track, and revise your employee salaries planning for the long term future.
This is important to instill confidence in your company that you are able to retain the best talent. Moreover, money is still a big motivator for most of your employees. Having their salary revised will definitely go a long way in boosting their motivation levels, and having them working for your company for many more years to come.
Cutting costs is inevitable to stay competitive and afloat during tough times, and for how long it continues is something time will tell. But at the same time, it is also important not to cut the corners of your critical departments such as IT, providing essential security services to keeping you safe from ransomware attacks.
You need to rope in a cybersecurity company like BeforeCrypt for a comprehensive cybersecurity plan. And this can only be done when the cybersecurity firm is connected with your IT department. Once aligned, business objectives and deadlines can be mutually set by the respective departments.
Business leaders who want to come out of a crisis like COVID19 are only able to do so when they are vigilant in every move. You need to save money on non-essentials and still focus on investing in essentials such as IT infrastructure, logistics, supply chain, and more. One attack and the entire network can shut down in minutes. Who knows when there could be another lockdown. Hence, your business should show readiness and willingness to accept the change.