How to Budget for Your IT
It’s that time of year! It’s time to submit proposals for the technology budget.
Somehow, you’re supposed to anticipate your business’s IT needs for the upcoming year while trying to stay within a set budget. It is a careful balancing act between forecasting spending on maintenance, innovation, and utilities. In fact, knowing how to budget your IT for the upcoming year is just as important as running your business.
Fortunately, you do not have to worry about making a budget for your IT by yourself. This article offers tips to help you put your IT budgeting priorities in order, as well as a possible solution that can help alleviate the burden entirely.
Steps for Making a Budget for Your IT
1. Consider the goals of the company as a whole, not just the IT department.
The decisions you make for your IT budget do not just impact the IT department or compute components- they impact the entire business. You should first consider if it fits into the company’s goals, especially when you want to invest in new technologies. For example, investing in an MDM solution is attractive, but if the business wants to concentrate on keeping their customer’s information secure in the coming year, your priority can be a security solution that includes a mobile component. In summary, create your IT budget holistically around the needs of the entire business, not just one department. Technology is, after all, the centre of every business.
2. Learn from the past- look at spending from previous years.
Especially if this is your first time setting the IT budget, learn from the successes and mistakes of the previous years’ budgets to set your own baseline. Did something you spent money on last year really help the business? Or was the impact less than amazing? Looking at the investments made in previous years can help you decide what to allocate funds to in the coming year.
3. Balance innovation with maintenance
A major part of learning how to budget for technology is learning to balance:
- New projects that can enhance the way the business works
- “Keeping the lights on.”
If you have a perfectly good server that will need routine maintenance, or some licenses that need renewals, you should probably allocate a portion of the budget to these business critical maintenance costs. However, if you don’t invest in innovation, you may be risking spending another year without BYOD innovations or better security. CIO’s in a major study recommend keeping your business competitive and functional with a 50/50 balance.
4. Treat the IT Budget like Any Other Financial Budget
Weigh the pros and cons of each purchase, just as you would with a personal financial budget. Does the business really need to invest its budget money into a particular innovation? Can the business afford the long-term maintenance costs of a new investment? Can a business afford not to? Your decisions now will impact the workflow of an entire year. Fortunately, your decisions for a regular financial budget are the same way. You already have experience with balancing an entire company’s budget; now take the same principles and apply it to your company’s IT solutions.
Centre Shows You How to Budget Technology
Our clients are not just numbers: they are a part of our DNA. If you don’t know how to budget your 2015 technology investments, contact a member of Centre Technologies today. We have a quality assurance specialists available who can help you plan your technology budget next year.
You even may find that your next innovation fits your company goals while fitting perfectly into your budget.
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