Every business owner or executive knows technology is important to an organization. It’s impossible to compete, much less thrive, in today’s digital world if your communications, marketing, or data storage isn’t working the way it’s supposed to be.
However, installing and troubleshooting technology is only part of the challenge. Ask most of the decision-makers who hire us what the toughest aspect of IT is, and they’ll tell you
budgeting is equally daunting.
It’s not hard to understand why. Not only is technology constantly changing, but it’s difficult to know which pieces of hardware and software will have to be upgraded or replaced
in the near future. Not to mention, adjusting budgets when you’re trying to keep up with every upgrade and change, can start to get tedious and feel unnecessary after a while.
Here at Fantastic IT, one of the ways we help the organizations we work with is by offering consulting to assist them in planning future moves or investments. In other words, we help them to develop good IT budgets that allow for growth and take bottom-line considerations into account.
But that begs the question: what does a good IT budget even look like? Rather than respond with numbers or percentages (which change from one client or situation to the next), let’s look at some of the overall characteristics that should always be met…
A Good IT Budget is Accurate and Predictive
In a lot of companies, the IT “budget” is really more of a best guess or wish list. It represents what leadership hopes to spend on technology, not an amount they truly expect to have coming out of the bottom line. Moreover, they may not really know what those funds will be used for.
It’s understandable that some businesses budget technology in that way, but such an approach makes it hard to manage cash flow, upgrades, and IT emergencies. While your IT budget might not be perfect to the penny from one year to the next, it needs to be accurate and predictive to have any real planning utility.
A Good IT Budget is Reasonable
This issue is related to the first, of course, but it merely recognizes that a lot of businesses spend much more on technology than they can actually afford to. Or, they plan on spending too little each and every year, and end up disrupting their operations when they have to dig deeper than expected.
A good IT budget has to be reasonable, both in the context of the greater business world and the specific challenges and constraints you are facing. Your IT team shouldn’t give you figures that just aren’t feasible, and you shouldn’t feel forced to spend more than is good for your company, either.
A Good IT Budget Aligns With Other Business Goals
Often, technology gets treated as a line item on a bigger business budget that doesn’t really correspond to anything else. However, the only reason you invest in technology in the first place is that it helps you to sell products or services, manage employees, reduce costs, etc.
If you are planning to make big changes to your business, those changes probably need to be reflected in your IT strategy since you might need to invest in new hardware, software, or be able to cancel some redundant subscriptions. If your underlying strategies for marketing, customer service, etc., are going in new directions, that’s why IT budgeting is best done with a perspective of how it will affect other current and future business operations.
Are You Creating Good IT Budgets?
If your organization isn’t coming up with IT budgets that are accurate, reasonable, and aligned with your other goals, maybe it’s time to start getting better advice. Contact the team at Fantastic IT today to see how easy it is to get the personalized help you deserve!