In the world of business, a sudden unexpected expense can send even the most well financed business into a tailspin. While an IT budget is essential, what’s more important is that it is comprehensive enough to cover every possible scenario, robust enough to ensure everyone has what they need, and flexible enough to account for the unexpected. Most businesses begin IT budget planning between July and September. By this time of year, there is typically enough data available to identify deficiencies in the current IT budget. Decision makers can then make timely changes and adjustments going forward.
Benefits of an IT BudgetA smart IT spending plan is helpful in several ways:
- Lifecycle and end of support – It is important to take note of software and hardware end of life dates. An annual budget review is the perfect time to identify and plan ahead for any necessary upgrades or changes.
- Make decisions based on the numbers – There is nothing like seeing the budget in black and white. The budgeting process lets you make sound decisions based on realistic financial projections.
- Keep vendors honest – From time to time, vendor fees can gradually (or not so gradually) creep up, especially when no one is watching. By conducting an annual IT budgetary review, you can identify price increases and if necessary, switch to a different vendor or solution.
- Make long term decisions based on forecasted budgets – An annual IT budget allows you to compare the merits of managed services vs. hourly services, so you can make a sound decision based on careful forecasts.
A Note on IT Budgeting for Government GrantsWhile an IT budget is necessary for every for-profit business, a smart spending plan could be even more critical for non-profit agencies and government agencies. These organizations cannot rely on customers to fund their IT budget – they often need government grants to make ends meet. Typically, there is a governing body that requires non-profits to meet certain IT requirements, including the security of client data and the safeguarding of personal information. If the organization in question has not taken sufficient steps to guard against cyber-attacks and the growing threat of ransomware, they could be denied of government grants. With critical funding on the line, non-profits and governmental agencies cannot afford to take chances with their annual IT budgeting process.
Ontech’s Approach to IT BudgetingWhether your business operates for profit or not, when you partner with Ontech to build your annual IT budget, you get access to a granular level of budget-specific detail you might otherwise overlook. Our approach is very much consultative vs. break/fix. While some businesses take the approach of waiting for things to break and fixing them, a process euphemistically known as break/fix, Ontech takes a difference approach. Prevention as a Practice We believe in prevention as a practice. This approach involves regular IT maintenance and monitoring to ensure that minor issues are fixed before they become big problems. When planning your IT budget, we encourage a 3 to 5 year hardware replacement plan so you can avoid unpleasant surprises and security risks down the road.
Our Approach with Inside IT TechsWhen it comes to IT budgeting, Ontech takes a collaborative, team-based approach with inside techs. IT budgeting is most helpful once you have been an Ontech customer for over 1 year, but it might be worthwhile to work with Ontech to come up with ways to get the most out of your budget or fund certain projects you’ve been wanting to begin for some time now.
Four Key Budgetary CategoriesAt Ontech, we break down the annual IT budgeting process into four main areas. By breaking this complex process into four key areas, we make it easier for you to see the big picture without losing sight of the little things than can make a big impact overall. These are the four categories we break down in an IT budget:
- Hardware and licensing
- Cloud services
- Managed services
- Hourly maintenance/project
The IT Budget SpreadsheetWe begin by defining all spending for the upcoming year through our IT budget spreadsheet, time-tested and perfected over the last 15+ years.
Free IT Budget Meeting For Ontech CustomersWe know developing an annual IT budget can be difficult, but we can make it easier. Ontech offers free IT budget meeting for customers. Just give us a call at 262-522-8560 to schedule a time to get started. *If you are NOT an Ontech customer, we encourage you to schedule a free Network Discovery where we can help you get a better handle on your current IT infrastructure and close any potential security loopholes. Feel free to call our support team at 262-522-8560 with any IT budgeting questions! Ontech maintains detailed records for all customers, so there is no need to dig through your old IT documents – we’ve got you covered. One less thing for you to worry about. We keep record of:
- All software and hardware your company has in place.
- Anticipated software and hardware lifecycles along with upgrade strategies.
- All renewal periods and project fees.
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