One of the complaints we most often hear from business owners and executives is that their IT budgets feel completely unpredictable. They often tell us in initial conversations that they aren’t sure how much they will spend from one quarter year to the next… or whether the amounts they do shell out are reasonable.
In other words, they have no idea how much to estimate for technology costs and can’t determine if they are paying too much for the hardware, software, and services they receive.
As common as this complaint is, there are relatively simple solutions. If you feel like your IT budget is made up of guesswork – or worse, that it’s out of control – we have a few tips for you to start following today.
Don’t Ignore Lingering Technology Problems
Let’s start with the obvious: just because something isn’t budgeted doesn’t mean it’s unexpected. We occasionally meet with businesspeople who are fully aware they have problems with their computers, software suites, or networking equipment, but refuse to have them maintained or replaced. Then, they fret over expenses that “seemed to appear out of nowhere.”
Persistent tech issues (like computer crashes or dropped calls) are like a check engine light on your car. They indicate a problem that is unlikely to go away on its own. If you’re dealing with them, find out about the real cause and get a quote for repair or replacement. Even if you don’t make the investment right away, you’ll still know what kind of situation you are dealing with.
Switch From Technology Purchases to Subscriptions
Assuming you aren’t ignoring red flags, the best way to make IT budgeting more predictable is to simply switch to subscription pricing rather than making large purchases.
The tech industry has been moving in this direction for many years, with everything from server space to software now available for a predictable monthly fee. You can even get IT support from a company like ours with a managed services agreement. These arrangements give you access to newer products, more consistent support, and a predictable budget that can be scaled up or down at any time.
Take a Longer-Term Approach to IT Budgeting
One more way to tame your IT budget is to simply think over a longer time horizon. Even if you follow the other two steps we’ve already outlined, there might be times when you have to make an emergency upgrade or want to spend on something that wasn’t planned.
These kinds of costs can disrupt your budget in the short-term, but your long-term plan should have a little bit of flexibility built into it. That way, you can spend a little more one month, and then a little less the next month, and have things even out over time.
Need Help Getting Your IT Budget and Strategy in Order?
At Fantastic IT, we have the industries best technicians and strategists working for companies just like yours. That means you get fast service, high-level technology expertise, and fresh perspectives on topics like budgeting.
If you haven’t been getting this kind of attention from your existing tech vendors, it’s time to make a change. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see how we can help!