Regrettably, when clients are assembling their quarterly or yearly budget forecasts, they often forget to invite their Managed IT Support team to the board room table. The reason for this is that a lot of IT providers are viewed as “fixers” rather than as strategic planners that can be used to effectively guide budgeting discussions. Your IT Support team can (should!) offer a wealth of invaluable insight, benchmarks, supporting data, and reference experience that you can be used to project IT costs.
Your IT budget says a lot about you, as a business owner. It can indicate whether or not you have developed a plan for the future of your business, whether you are willing to fund that plan, and whether or not business leaders value the benefits of technology and the impact it can have on driving success, or if they still view IT as a minor function. Your budget should reflect the strategic plans that you have for the upcoming quarter or year by assigning funds to projects that you have given high priority for attaining the goals and objectives that you want to attain. Your IT budget can also be used to drive innovation and truly advance the success of your business.
Here’s a look at three ways that you can use your IT Support team to help you forecast your IT costs for the upcoming year.
Leverage Capex/Opex Accounting Rules
Back in the dark ages when businesses handled their own data centres and invested large sums of money in the IT hardware that was needed to handle their data centres, it was fairly easy to separate capital expenditure from a company’s standard operating budget. As IT has progressed, its objective is no longer focused on using cost-effective, temporary infrastructure to provide more advanced technology that effectively supports strategic initiatives in the present cloud computing-centred environment.
Correct the Past
A lot of businesses are bogged down by highly complicated landscapes that demand more resources than are actually justified; however, their IT budgets are comprised of insufficient funds in order to correct legacy issues. Instead, they focus on allocating funds to keep the lights on, and then fund the projects that will meet the business’s most urgent needs, which can end up being very problematic. Instead of taking this approach, give the most pressing needs your attention so you can modernise your efforts.
Plan for the Future
Your IT budget shouldn’t focus solely on the strategic needs of your company for just the next year, but rather, it should include your objectives for the next several years; between 3 to 5 years, ideally. The top CIOs achieve this by making sure there is access to money that can fund the goals for the future of their company.
When you know what you want several years into the future to look like, you can then determine what things need to look like in a single year, and thus, you can allocate funds appropriately. While it’s true that you’ll likely need to focus more of your funds on immediate needs, by looking several years into the future, you can start planning for that future when you’re planning your budget for the upcoming year.
Book a call with a member of our senior technical team if you’d like to understand how we can help you plan now to save money on your technology in the future.