In this tech driven world, running your business without the right set of IT services and applications is next to impossible. It’s no surprise that by 2024, cloud IT infrastructure spending is expected to reach $109.3 billion worldwide, with public cloud being a large driver of IT spending globally.
To get the most out of your technology investments, however, you need to create and implement a well-planned IT budget.
Unfortunately, most businesses, especially small ones, don’t really invest their time and effort in IT budgeting. They often spend on their tech needs as and when needed, which results in excessive spending. This, in turn, can eat away the profits you have earned through hard work, while keeping your existing IT services and applications less productive.
As a leading managed services provider, we often ask our clients and businesses in general to take IT budgeting seriously.
Here are a few tips that can help you plan your tech budget effectively.
Understand Your Exact Tech Needs First
The first step in budgeting your IT services and requirements is to understand your precise technology needs. Take a closer look at your business goals and your current IT strategy. If they align with each other, you can go ahead and plan your tech budget accordingly.
When planning, you will need to increase your spend in a few areas or projects, while cutting it back for others. Make sure to get every concerned team member on board when discussing potential investments and cutbacks. Talk to the concerned team managers and employees to understand your present as well as future IT needs.
You will also need to consider potential disasters, whether it is hardware failure, data breach, or a natural disaster, as tech problems do arise despite your best precautions and cybersecurity measures.
Furthermore, make sure to keep some wiggle room in your IT budget for investments that may cost more than the forecasts. Costs of hardware, software, and IT services can change because of a variety of factors. You should take these potential fluctuations into account when planning.
Never Invest in Fancy Tech
In the ever-changing world of technology, you see many cool and fancy gadgets and applications entering the market almost every day. Who doesn’t like to own the latest and the fanciest tech out there? When it comes to IT budgeting, however, fancy isn’t what you should be looking for.
Your primary focus needs to be on your IT needs. You shouldn’t go on a tech shopping spree like a kid looking for the coolest laptop. Any managed IT services provider worth their salt, like AngelCom, will tell you the same.
A shopping spree for buying fancy tech can quickly devour your entire IT budget. To make things worse, it may not add any value to your existing IT infrastructure in terms of productivity or security. So, think twice before investing in hardware or software. If the tech offers a competitive advantage, commercial growth, and satisfies your business goals, only then you should consider buying it.
Once you have shortlisted an IT service or product, make sure to think through your transition to the new system. You may need to train your employees, spend some time getting conversant with the new tech, and overcome a few problems. Make sure you are prepared to handle this before investing in new technology.
Set Funds Aside for Replacements and Upgrades
As mentioned, new applications and hardware keep entering the tech market more frequently than you can imagine. Also, all tech vendors release updates and better versions of their products and services over time. In other words, there is no “buy once, buy right” option.
The current technology or hardware you are using will need an upgrade or even replacement eventually. Unfortunately, most businesses fail to keep track of the required upgrades and replacements. They continue to use outdated devices and applications until they stop working suddenly, which results in unplanned downtime.
However, if you make provisions for replacements and upgrades to your IT services, devices, and applications in your budget, you can avoid this problem. Make sure to catalogue all your hardware and software with records of updates and repairs they have received. This systematic inventory can help you plan your IT budget more accurately.
Minimize Your IT Waste
No business, whether small or big, can set aside an unlimited IT budget. You will need to save money wherever you can. You should start by analyzing your business processes to identify any redundancies and waste of your resources. You need to optimize your entire work environment, one process at a time, to ensure minimal waste of your resources, including your tech investment.
You can consider investing in new technologies or upgrading old ones to cut down your operation costs. It is critical to invest in the IT services and technologies that will bring in more efficiency and revenue. Anything that doesn’t, needs to go.
Make sure to get every stakeholder involved in a company-wide scrutiny of what should stay and what needs to go or get replaced. Think about your short and long-term needs when minimizing your IT waste.
Consider Consulting a Managed Service Provider
As you can see, documenting your IT inventory, keeping track of daily IT needs, troubleshooting, upgrades, and ensuring cybersecurity – all of this requires considerable time and resources. Most small and medium-sized businesses either don’t have internal IT teams or have very small ones that are not capable of handling all their IT needs.
That’s why hiring a managed services provider like AngelCom is a great way to reduce the burden on your internal IT team and your employees. An IT service expert can help you plan your IT budget, monitor your network, optimize your systems, and keep your business safe from cyberthreats.
A well-planned IT budget can help you maximize the efficiency of your computer network, keep your business safe from cyber threats, and also help save considerable money. However, it involves a lot of planning and legwork, which can be tough if you are not aware of the latest tech developments. That’s where a managed services provider like AngelCom comes in. Whether you are looking for general IT services or something specific, feel free to call us on (855) 974-4313 to know how we can help.