Q4 came quick this year, didn’t it? Whether you’ve exceeded revenue goals for 2016, or are eager to put a less-than-stellar year to bed and focus on the future, one thing is for certain: We’re barreling toward 2017 at full speed and changes are on the horizon. While you and your team are buttoning up your technology budget for next year, we’re urging you to take one more long look and make sure you’re including some of the most important items.
There’s a lot to address in the year to come and, as you’ve likely guessed, technology and security are at the forefront. If you think technology made leaps and bounds in 2016, just wait. Predictions surmise that this next year may be the most influential part of the technological revolution yet.
Here are six things your organization can’t afford to leave out of its 2017 technology budget:
1. IT Security
IT security spend will reach $120 billion by 2017. And experts warn, incremental increases in security spend will not be enough to adequately protect your business from cyber threats, data breaches, human error and malicious intent.
Cybersecurity Ventures forecasts $1 trillion will be spent globally on cybersecurity between 2017 and 2021. This spend is in response to a projected growth in cybercrime from $3 trillion in losses in 2015 to $6 trillion annually by 2021.
2. Employee Feedback Tools
Reliable, trustworthy employees are priceless. But organizations must do their part to establish such dependable employer-employee relationships. All employees want the same thing: to be valued, respected and rewarded for their hard work. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by asking for their feedback, genuinely listening and applying what you’ve learned to improve their experience.
Here are four tools to help with this endeavor:
- 15Five is a platform that allows managers to create custom surveys for their employees.
- Culture Amp is a performance review, reporting and cultural survey tool all rolled into one.
- Weekdone is a sophisticated employee feedback and progress tracking platform.
- Impraise is a platform that allows employees to review their employer, provide feedback and praise their peers.
3. Internet of Everything (IoE) Technology
In 2017, it’s not about the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s about the Internet of Everything! Create a dedicated line item for IoE technology and plan to allocate funds to this endeavor over the next several years. From security and management systems to machines and light fixtures — everything will eventually be connected. Organizations that fail to make these upgrades will fall behind — fast.
IoE technology enables assets to capture key data about performance and utilization (including utility metrics) that can be used to improve operations, lean down and reduce overhead. Organizations also benefit from clearer inventory controls, greater customer communication, improved safety and security, automation and more.
4. Integrated Work Management Software (IWMS)
IoE goes hand-in-hand with IWMS. Organizations that have sophisticated systems in place to track and monitor all segments of their business — and have chosen a solution that allows each system to share information — are making incredible sense of their business data.
IWMS helps management translate data to action and eliminates assumptions when planning future budgets. Plus, it will help keep you on track with your 2017 business goals related to:
- Space utilization and optimization
- Asset tracking
- Proactive facility maintenance
- Ergonomics and creating more productive workspaces
- Employee satisfaction
Smartphones, tablets and wearables all contribute to your organization’s agility — a key determinant of success in today’s fast-paced market. Employees and managers must have access to data at all times, and should be equipped to work from any location. More importantly, they must be capable of responding to change immediately.
Cloud technology and mobile applications bridge the gap between on-site and remote data. They also reduce the time employees and managers spend documenting changes, tracking time, submitting requests and more. Carve out space in your 2017 budget to increase or improve your organization’s mobility with the right tools, applications and cloud support.
Technology is taking over almost every function of business, which means knowing how to properly use tech tools and software has never been more critical to your organization’s success. Proper use of technology means greater productivity, efficiency and security. It also means your organization will maximize its investments by ensuring employees understand and use every tool at their disposal to its fullest capability.
In 2017, businesses will become more lean, agile, data-driven and aggressive in their pursuit of success. What you budget for must help you adapt, grow and contend. Create a roadmap to prioritize investments and schedule each new upgrade to avoid becoming complacent. Your future depends on it.
Ready to prepare your workspace for 2017 and beyond? Check out our new guide, The Great Workplace Space Race: How Successful Enterprises are Solving Spatial Challenges.