For a lot of small and medium-sized businesses the hardest part about managing technology isn’t making computers, phones, and software work together – it’s devising a regular budget that makes sense. That’s because some IT expenses (like emergency repairs and equipment upgrades, for example) can seem to be unpredictable in their amounts and timing.

IT budgeting doesn’t have to be a wild ride, though. In fact, there are a few simple tools you can use to smooth out your technology expenses quarter after quarter. Here are three of the most important…

#1 Managed Services Plans
A managed services plan is one that allows you to pay for your IT care at a predictable monthly rate. Instead of waiting for something to break and then calling a technology professional to fix it (usually at the most financially-inconvenient time), you can essentially have a vendor on-call and ready to step in when you need them.

The biggest reason to opt for a managed services agreement is that it allows you to be proactive with your IT maintenance, meaning you suffer through fewer crises. However, it’s also perfect for evening out your technology budget.

#2 Subscription-Based Cloud Software
A decade ago, a business owner or executive could be faced with a difficult choice when a new version of software came out. On the one hand, they could spend a lot of money to get a new application that might not live up to its hype. On the other, they could wait and possibly discover the tools that they were using had gone out of date or weren’t compatible with newer devices and operating systems.

With subscription-based cloud software you can always have the latest version of any application you and your team use. Better yet, you can forget about costly upgrades and just get the tools you need for a low, regular monthly rate.

#3 Predictable Upgrade Paths
You might not know exactly when you’ll need to replace a computer or when a newer version of your favorite tablet will be released. However, you can make some educated estimates about the useful working lives of different devices. And, you can think about the kinds of features and functions you’ll need to keep up with the plans you have for your business.

By thinking ahead in this way you can create predictable upgrade paths that allow you to use late-model devices without buying at the top of the market or spending unpredictably. All it takes is a bit of forethought and some help from a technology team that knows your business and goals.

Does Your IT Budget Make Sense?
We meet with lots of business owners and executives who struggle to devise an IT strategy that works for their needs and constraints. From setting the right figures to ensuring they have the tools they need to meet their business goals, our consultants make sure they are covering the details and seeing the bigger picture.

If you feel like your IT strategy and budget aren’t as strong as they should be, take a moment to contact our Los Angeles-based team today to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help.