Why Now is the Most Strategic Time to Spend on New IT Gear

If 2020 felt like a dropkick to your business, you’re not alone. But like the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. That’s probably why 80% of business technology buyers say they expect their budgets to go up or stay the same, according to “The 2021 State of IT: The Annual Report on IT Budgets and Tech Trends.”

For most that means making strategic spending on updated IT equipment while the New Year is still, well, new.

Ahead are four reasons they’re opening up their wallets.

January sales are great for bargain hunting

Missed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this year? Don’t worry. January is an equally good, if not less chaotic, season for deals on electronics. Like Diana Brown, a technology director for the Puget Sound Education Service District, says, “If you are able to be flexible in your requirements, the best overall prices are in January, during post-holiday shopping efforts to clear inventory.”

As you’re pricing out your next PC, remember that the investment you make today is just that: an investment. Most business computers have a 3-5 year lifespan, so use that discount to purchase a machine that can grow with you. In other words, don’t simply go for the one with the rock bottom price. Now’s a time to focus on future proofing, and a discounted higher end computer is ultimately a better bargain.

With the digital shift comes consumer empowerment

According to a Consumers International survey, two thirds of consumers say they would be willing to pay more for sustainable goods and 63% of consumers think connected devices are “creepy” in the way they collect data about people.

Seems the constantly connected consumer isn’t just reliably in-the-know about global issues: They are shifting their purchasing decisions accordingly. It’s putting the pressure on businesses to mirror their support for more sustainable organizations that protect customer privacy.

Empowered consumers now favour new technologies that align with their social, environmental and privacy priorities. When buying new IT tech, the onus is on businesses to do their research and spend with companies who are on the right side of sustainability and data privacy.

Businesses are planning for permanent increases in WFH staff

In the beginning, the sudden, forced pivot to remote work required a huge psychological shift. However, as telecommuters have found their groove – and increased their productivity – more and more businesses are settling in for the WFH long haul.

A survey from Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) confirms as much. According to their estimates, “The percentage of workers around the world that is permanently working from home is expected to double in 2021.”

Yet, with only one-fifth of employers currently providing tools for work-from-home employees, according to SHRM, expect to see significant investment in communication infrastructure, and soon.

Catering for the new digital consumer

Being homebound during a lockdown feels a lot less insular with technology, at least according to Deloitte’s Digital Consumer Trends 2020 report. More than 50% of people believe their smartphone has made them feel less isolated.

Deloitte partner and national telecommunications lead Peter Corbett said it best: “The devastating impact of COVID-19, and the resulting lockdown, has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst: speeding up consumers’ digital adoption and introducing new trends at a rate few could have predicted. During lockdown, digital became our window to the outside world, and each other, as we craved connection.”

From surging e-commerce sales to unprecedented rates of video streaming and online banking, our digital behaviors are changing – likely for the long term. 55% of survey respondents stated that shifts like online-only grocery shopping are permanent.

Though it’s important to remember that of this group, one in five said they lose a productive day a month due to ineffective tech. From a business standpoint, it’s critical employers are able to adequately accommodate this growing deluge of digital consumers.

Ultimately, an investment in your IT equipment is a direct investment in the future of your organization. Spending strategically now can help you make hit the ground running in 2021 and future-proof your business for the long term.