Budgeting is an annual process in all businesses, whether big or small. You sit down and analyze how much you spent the previous year, and see how much you will have to pay the following year to meet the present requirements. Of course, for small-medium businesses, the budget is pretty low as compared to global businesses. This makes budgeting even more difficult since SMBs have to look for ways to manage the best operation with limited funds. Since investment in IT is a ubiquitous requirement nowadays, you have to consider that as well.
Importance of a Budgeting Process
Anyone can say that budgeting is an important process. When you have a relatively small amount of funds at your disposal, the importance of a sound budgeting strategy increases. This is because you have to make do with lesser funds to get the same things that your competitors have, if not better. IT budgeting is a vital part of budgeting since your IT infrastructure is what allows your business to run correctly and grow, it ensures you are protected from online threats, and ultimately helps keep clients and employees satisfied.
It is a common tendency for small and medium businesses to continue with the same IT infrastructure and resources if things are fine. Complacency in this field is akin to carelessness, and this can easily lead to disaster. So you have to invest in IT so that your business remains online continuously. With limited funds, a well thought out budgeting process becomes essential.
What Kind of IT Budgeting Strategy Should You Follow?
- Do some research about the current requirements for businesses, to understand where you stand with your IT infrastructure. It will help you understand what you need, and knowing that will help you to come up with a comprehensive budget.
- Talk to your employees about what they feel could be changed. As an owner, you might spend less than half the time using the system than they do. Your IT policies affect them the most, so knowing their opinions is important
- Look for expert help. Many IT budgeting experts can assess your business and compare it with the current market situation before giving you a custom IT budget. Managed IT support companies can be a great resource as they have extensive experience helping small and midsize clients across industries plan and manage their IT infrastructures.
How Much Should You Spend?
To know how much your IT budget will cost you, you can check out guides from leading IT consulting firms online.
This is the leading name in IT consulting and management advisory. Gartner estimates that around 3.5% of the total budget should be for IT, though this is only a benchmark and not written in stone. Gartner will give you a free detailed IT budget to provide you with an example of how to go about the budgeting process.
Deloitte is a global giant in the auditing and business advisory sector. They provide an excellent service to clients seeking IT budgeting help. Their survey of 900 IT professionals in 2014 revealed that 77% of the companies saw an increase in the IT budget over the previous year. This is a common trend, since people bow down to business needs, and invest in IT heavily.
This Texas-based IT networking site did its survey in 2014, which included more than 1,000 companies. It revealed that the smaller the workforce of businesses is, the greater its IT budget. Businesses with 19 or fewer employees spent $2,770 per person, while those with a more substantial workforce of around 60 spent just $700 per person. So your workforce size will decide how much you end up spending on IT.
IT budgeting is an essential part of small and medium-size businesses, and it can be a little perplexing when you see others investing heavily. But the key is to remain level-headed and think clearly. To get the best results, go for managed IT support.
What to do Next?
As a small organization, you likely don’t have the expert internal resources to developing a comprehensive IT budget that represents your way of doing business, but also accounts for technology change. If you are not already doing so, having an outsourced Managed IT support partner can be a very cost effective solution to having an adequate IT budgeting strategy
Managed IT support presents many benefits to small and medium-sized businesses as it lets them get a comprehensive service to help them plan, maintain and support their IT infrastructure for a monthly per-user fee. These services are designed to adjust to every company’s goals and budget, allowing them to experience what it would be like to have an in-house IT staff with superior experience for less than the actual cost of it.
Envision Consulting is one of these managed IT support firms that give you the best value for your money and we would be happy to help you set your IT budgeting strategy in the right direction.
Contact us if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with a member of our team.