- 1st November 2021
- Posted by: Mark Dodds
- Category: Business, Strategy
Determining how much you should allocate to IT and what you should use those funds for can be difficult, especially for smaller businesses.
However, it’s vitally important that you have an IT budget and that you plan carefully how to use it.
Your IT budget should provide solutions for your customers and your company, making the tech you use more reliable and less likely to create bottlenecks and issues.
In 2022, there are lots of important factors to consider when allocating your funds.
Let’s take a closer look.
The impact of the pandemic on IT budgets
Before you decide on the budget itself, it’s important to consider the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic may have had on your brand.
The way in which many companies function has changed dramatically. Businesses have been forced to balance cost cutting to survive while still investing in IT in order for staff to work effectively remotely.
While investing in IT can be costly, it’s also cost-effective if you do so carefully. This is why it’s so important to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring that you are not out-teched by your competitors.
So, take a look at how your business has adapted following the global lockdowns and in which IT-related areas you can invest to ensure its continued success.
Include the IT team in the decision-making process
IT support providers are sometimes at the bottom of the chain when it comes to receiving information on budgeting decisions, and, as a result, often have to play catch up or be left fixing issues with inadequate tools.
It shouldn’t be like this. The IT arm of any business should be involved directly in the decision-making and budgeting processes, right from the start.
The technology your busines relies on is vital for its continued success. With the IT support provider involved, you can ensure that they fully understand the business needs and requirements, enabling them to grab their own, fair share of the budget.
Analyse previous budgets
Each year, you probably set out a budget that you plan to stick to, but things will often change as the months roll by due to unforeseen challenges or changes of direction. This often results in budgets being exceeded.
It’s therefore important to have a contingency plan or emergency fund for your IT support provider, but it’s also important to learn from your previous mistakes.
By reviewing how much you’ve gone over budget previously, you’ll be able to gradually understand the kind of funds you’ll need for emergencies in the future. And looking at the ‘why’ will also help you better allocate the IT budget if you simply haven’t given it enough in the past.
Consider hidden costs and worthwhile investments
As noted earlier, budgets can be destroyed by unforeseen costs. And, often, these costs are due to poor purchasing decisions.
Buying the cheapest devices and IT kit will almost certainly lead to issues further down the line, such as incompatibilities between hardware and software, and frustrating user experiences.
For instance, a cheaper printer that uses more ink will cost you more over time than investing in one that’s designed to be conservative with ink usage. Similarly, a lower-specced laptop may slow your salesperson down to the point where they can’t close deals on time.
Consider these hidden costs when setting your budget and buying any IT equipment; how much more could that piece of equipment cost you throughout the year?
Security is always key
According to research, 58% of all malware attacks are aimed at small businesses. This is because they’re usually viewed as easier targets.
This is why it’s important to really focus on cybersecurity in your budget to keep your company and customers safe.
Investing in this area can seem costly, but being hit by a cyberattack could cause untold damage to your business and its customers. It’s an absolute no-brainer for that reason.
Evaluate your priorities
Every business is unique, and they all have different priorities when it comes to the IT budget.
This is why you should establish what your priorities are for IT. For instance, do you need technology to grow the business, become more efficient, or to develop new products?
No IT budget is unlimited and every single one we’ve ever dealt with has been unique. This is why it’s important to identify what matters to your business to ensure the funding is being allocated correctly. And, if you need help, just get in touch with the Compex team!