How to Properly Budget for Quality IT Support

how to properly budget for quality it support

IT requirements are changing.

Indeed, in a recent report, almost 90% of companies thought their IT budgets would increase or stay the same this year. According to the same source, essential upgrades to old infrastructure were the biggest catalyst for budget increases.

Clearly, companies are having to adjust their systems in order to accommodate modern IT challenges. And that’s having a direct impact on how they’re allocating money to IT budgets.

Budgeting for IT is rarely an easy task. But with changing demands, the task is arguably becoming harder. Are you looking for advice to help with the process?

Keep reading to learn a selection of top tips to properly budget for your IT support.

1. Treat It Seriously

Let’s face it, budgeting is rarely something anyone looks forward to.

It’s a bit like cleaning.

No-one looks forward to doing it. It’s easy to put off and never particularly fun to carry out. However, the outcome is entirely positive. The act of cleaning may be a hassle, but life’s made that bit better as a result.

The same goes with your IT budget. This is an essential task to take seriously. Be sure to apply sufficient time and effort into ensuring it ticks all the right boxes.

2. Think Long Term

Prevention is always better than a cure, right?

In essence, it’s far preferable to avoid a problem than having to find a solution for it. It’s the approach taken in healthcare systems. And it’s an important approach to emulate in your IT budget.

Be sure to allocate sufficient expenditure to preventative measures. Sure, you could save money in the short term by not doing so. However, if a problem occurs you can end up paying far more to resolve it.

Hacks and viruses are two particular potential issues of note. Both are becoming increasingly prevalent as threats to companies. Allocate enough money to adequately protect your systems.

You’ll be thankful for the protective measures in the long run!

3. Plan In Advance

Your budget is likely to have a due date.

If you don’t know when it is, start by finding out!

Let’s assume the date is already in the diary though. It’s never a good idea to leave it too late to finalize. This isn’t a deadline you want to miss. Instead, begin working on your IT support budget months, even half a year, in advance.

Remember, this is a lengthy process, beginning with individual meetings with department heads. It’s vital to use this time to forecast ahead. Think about the technology required for the coming years ahead. With general tech goals in place, line items can be established and costs can be drawn up.

Leave it too late and it will be impossible to align the budget with each department’s needs and expectations.

4. Build upon Last Year’s Budget

If you’ve got one, then leverage last year’s IT budget when creating your new one.

Review the budget from the previous year. Look at the budget and how it compares with the actual spending that followed. Identify areas of alignment and misalignment. In essence, look to see whether the previous budget suited the organization’s actual needs.

From there it’s a matter of refining the new budget accordingly. With your new data, you can reduce, increase and/or allocate funds differently.

5. See the Budget for What It Is

Your budget is more than just a list of items and costs.

It’s the strategy you’re taking forwards. After all, the budget determines an organization's IT priorities and capabilities in the coming year.

Seeing it in this light may make the task seem more important. Any inclusions and exclusions have direct knock-on effects on the IT strategy. It’s important to understand the actual impact cuts and additions will have. Assess the likely affects they’d have to determine what to keep and what to cut.

6. Sell Your Budget Early

Organizations are generally quite tight with their money!

But some are stricter than others. It’s likely that your IT budget will need to be given the go ahead by a senior manager. Know that it will be far easier to sell them your budget if they’re aware in advance of what’s on it.

Be sure to seek consent for items (especially large expenses) with your managers prior to putting the budget together. Communicate with them ahead of time to avoid setbacks at your due date. This is about minimizing surprises. When everyone already knows the purpose of your budget items, they’re far more likely to pass it.

7. Incorporate the Right Items

Budgets will vary in accordance with an organizations’ individual needs.

That said, there are common categories that any budget should include. Consider the budget for:

  • Costs involving network and infrastructure
  • Cloud services costs
  • Hardware to be purchased and/or replaced (plus labor costs involved)
  • Current and additional software expenses
  • IT problem support (backups, recovery and so on)
  • Planned IT ventures for the coming year
  • One-off expenses (to cover emergencies, random issues and so on)

With these items in place, you should have the basis of your budget covered.

8. Expect Fluctuations

It’s almost impossible to plan a fixed IT budget.

There’s almost always a chance they’ll need altering. After all, sticking to a budget can be difficult when particular pieces of hardware become outdated, fail, or falter somehow. Indeed, hardware tends to need replacing periodically.

As a result, the budget will change too.

Time to Finish Your IT Support Budget

There you have it: 8 top tips to budget effectively for your IT support.

Modern challenges and requirements are having a direct impact on company IT budgets. As technology advances at a frightening rate, so do the levels and types of threat to IT systems.

Establishing a functional and effective budget is never an easy task. And these new developments in the IT world have the potential to make budget allocation ever harder.

Hopefully, the information in this article will help make the process of tech support somewhat easier.

Like this article? Looking for more money-related advice? Check out the finance section of our blog for much more financial info and insight!

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