The benefits of creating an IT budget go far beyond simply helping you with cost savings. Doing so also aids your organization in identifying and developing your IT initiatives across your departments. With a better understanding of your goals and your budget, you can boost productivity, efficiency and communication across the board. The question is, how can you get started with your IT budget planning? It all starts with a few simple steps.
What Is IT Budgeting?
IT budgeting involves allocating funds to various IT systems, services and projects across all departments. Funds can be used for one-time expenses like towards a specific project or for reoccurring costs like hiring and staffing employees. Moreover, companies can create a full-scale annual budget or smaller-scale, one-time project.
Examples of what might be included in your IT budget include:
- Human Capital: Compensation, recruitment or contracted staff
- Hardware: Laptops, mobile phones or servers
- Software: CRM software, subscriptions, operating systems or upgrades
- Maintenance: Third-party maintenance, warranties or repairs
- Security: Anti-virus, anti-malware or anti-ransomware software
Of course, each company has unique IT needs and will therefore have different budget priorities, bringing us to our next step.
IT Budget Planning Best Practices
To determine your budget, you can implement the following best practices and tips.
1. Plan Out Your IT Budget Calendar
Knowing your deadlines of when expenses are due will help give you a more accurate view of what your budget looks like month-to-month or year-to-year. Moreover, it also helps give the necessary stakeholders a better idea of what expenses need to be accounted for.
2. Review Past Budgets
The best way to prepare for the future is to review the past. If applicable to your company, look at past budgets you set for IT to see what you previously allocated. This will help you justify your chosen budget numbers and provide more of a structure.
3. Strategize Your Spending
To go about strategic spending, consider your company’s overall goals and objectives with each department’s priorities. This will require discussion and, more often than not, negotiation among departmental leaders and stakeholders. However, being clear about expectations will help give everyone a better understanding of what they can prioritize with their own tech.
4. Leverage New Technology
Technology is always evolving, providing plenty of new opportunities to increase efficiencies and business growth. However, knowing which technologies could empower your company takes a bit of research and discussion across teams. Moreover, many companies make the mistake of shelling out for new equipment without considering factors like integration, deployment and management. If opting for new technology, ensure you can account for all of these.
5. Remain Flexible
Of course, as with any type of budgeting, unforeseen expenses do pop up. Make certain you leave yourself some breathing room in case this occurs, so you don’t find yourself having to overspend.
Start Budgeting Right Today
Creating an IT budget is an imperative part of determining your spending for your IT needs. It all starts with asking yourself the right questions – what are your priorities? How do they align with your company objectives? What opportunities are there for you with your technology and tech solutions?
Fortunately, a B2B IT partner can help you better understand what IT tech and solutions you need to focus on to help you better determine your budget. Contact us today to get started.