Create a Better IT Strategy for 2017, Your Technology Budget Starts Here
Every organization has their qualms with budgeting. Often there is a disconnect between IT and finance. Your financial team may not understand IT and your IT personnel might not understand your finance. This is the budgeting paradox most maturing companies fall into every year when finalizing the coming fiscal calendar.
A good financial plan for your IT infrastructure starts with leaders working together to determine IT’s role in overcoming your objectives. Perhaps, instead of looking at IT as a cost, maybe consider it as an investment. Aligning your business strategy with the right IT strategy will ensure you’re making the right investment decisions. The right combination of short and long-term goals will be your first step to determine your constraints. Other considerations include:
How will IT spending affect operations daily cost? Are there any future major projects that will affect my IT infrastructure? Be sure to acknowledge both financial and non-financial implications of IT related initiatives.
Let’s start planning, 2017 is closer than you think:
Identify your assets (This includes anything you use for daily business operations)
- Hardware and Software
- Employee mobile devices
- Routers, switches
- Installed software Microsoft office, etc.
- Quickbooks, Client relation management
- Dropbox and file sharing tools, SaaS
If you’re working with any managed service provider, there should be no problem obtaining a compiled list on all of your current assets in use. Your primary concern with this list is what your incurring cost of the coming year will be. For hardware, will your systems start depreciating or not run to their full capabilities.? For software, is your business approaching the end of your licensing agreement?
Auditing your assets incurred expenses from the last 12 months will give you a big picture of what you can expect to happen in 2017. Now you’ve broken down most of your IT spending and some impending charges its time to create a tentative budget.
Audit your IT Management
Collaborating with the right people to ensure your success will impact your budget greatly. Assigning the right people in your business to the right roles deserves the once-over. This is about making sure your happy with who has the keys to the corvette. You can start by creating your own checklist.
- What do you need more of:
- Data storage
- Software for productivity or collaboration
- Better IT compliance
- More control over your environment
- Disaster recovery
- What you no longer need:
- Too many workstations
- Too many on-premise servers
- Paying for outdated software or programs
Who is in charge of these components and are you satisfied with their service? After you’ve made this assessment you are ready to start collecting quotes to finalize your 2017 budget. Your IT partner can take some stress out of your day by prioritizing potential issues you may find this year and your managed service provider can be a critical component to making sure its done right.