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 Budget
A 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 Grants
While 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 Budgeting
Whether 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 Techs
When 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 Categories
At 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 Spreadsheet
We 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 Customers
We 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.
We Price Shop for You
With many different options and support levels, IT prices can be confusing. When you work with Ontech, our dedicated account team will assist you with renewals and answer any questions you may have about what you‘ve purchased, how it is supported, and how much that support will cost.
We also compare prices across platforms and providers, so you can get the lowest price and keep your IT budget in check. Our process even pits vendors against one another, so you get the best pricing possible.
We Help You Make the Best Hardware Decisions
From choosing the right servers to selecting firewalls to keep your network safe, we’ll share the inside scoop on what you need – and what you don’t.
We also have know-how on which hardware will work seamlessly with your existing software and which planned upgrades could cause problems down the line.
And since we have a comprehensive list of all software in your organization, we can cross-reference to help you avoid incompatible hardware choices. Easy, right?
It is Time to Make a Switch?
It’s never too late to start thinking about IT budgeting for the coming year. If you’re ready to make a change, Ontech is here to help.
Get Started with a Network Security Assessment
If you’re in the midst of IT budgeting, a good way to “test the waters” with Ontech Systems is by scheduling a Network Security assessment.
Ontech’s IT Security Assessment scans your network and gives you an in-depth look at network areas that are typically the most vulnerable. We then provide you with 6 comprehensive reports that deliver all the information you need to know – right at your fingertips.
Sign up for a network security assessment by September 30th and save $250! Learn more or contact us today at 262-522-8560 x2 or firstname.lastname@example.org