Budgeting. Nobody likes it, but it’s very much necessary for businesses. Of course, there’s the overall budget – which is comprised of everything – and then there’s the IT budget.
Understanding the link between your goals and your budget is the key to making sure your business is aligned with your technology.
Once you do that, you remove a big burden that might be holding you back. You don’t want that.
Here’s the 3 tips that can help you build a solid budget today.
Tip 1: Start by calculating your current IT costs
Initially, it may look like your basic IT expenses are non-negotiable. Many organizations carry the costs of IT hardware, infrastructure, applications, and related maintenance over from year to year with nearly no review.
But this assumption can be cost you lots. As tech advances, replacing old systems can make you way more efficient with little to no extra cost.
Here’s an example: if you still use an on-site storage system, you might want to explore the opportunities offered by cloud storage solutions.
If you’re struggling with an outdated software application, look into cost-efficient, cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) options.
The bottom line is that none of your expenses should be carried over without proper examination.
Tip #2: Consider upcoming/existing projects with IT components
Once you have considered the must-haves, review your plans for developing and expanding your business in the upcoming year. As your business grows and changes, your IT needs will change as well. Avoid surprises by budgeting for related expenses.
Some examples of project-related expenses to consider:
- Licenses for additions to the staff
- Additional offices that may require improvements to your infrastructure
- Regulatory changes that may bring IT-related compliance obligations.
- Branding campaigns, client engagement strategies, and upgrades to business efficiency platforms
All of these rely heavily on your IT capabilities, and you’ll need to account for them in your IT budget.
Tip #3: Think ahead with safeguards
The final group of expenses to include in your budget are the services that keep your systems secure and operational. No business is totally safe from cyberthreats, as criminals target organizations of every size, in every industry.
Schemes typically involve various forms of data theft, such as holding your data for ransom and stealing personal information for sale or use in identity theft schemes.
Cryptojacking was one of the fastest growing cybersecurity threats in 2018, with 25% of all businesses already falling victim to it.
Cybercrimes have grown more sophisticated, and the number and variety of schemes is difficult to measure. Fraud through business email is particularly difficult to combat. Protecting your company must be at the top of your priority list, and standard security software may not be enough.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of budgeting
Like many things, it’s hard to put everything you need to know in a single post. However, we’re always more than happy to help you understand the details of how to build your IT budget. The truth is that every business is different, and some priorities might not be the same everywhere.
Have more specific questions? Ask away by contacting us – we’re always happy to help.