Top 5 Reasons Every Business Should Maintain a Healthy IT Budget
Mar 28, 2022 9:00:00 AM
Words by chad ross. Visuals by JESSE NAGUIB.
Budgeting holds strategic value but some business owners may run their company in a casual manner, not seeing the value in budgeting. If you are planning for your business' future, you will want to ensure your plan is financially viable.
Budgeting is the most effective way to control cashflow while allowing investment into new opportunities at the appropriate time. Information Technology (IT) budgeting is the process of allocating finances to the different technology aspects of your business. When done properly, IT budgeting will aid in cash flow management for your business and highlight where savings can be made.
Without technology, most companies today cannot remain competitive in the marketplace. Technology is omnipresent in the business world and covers a wide range of potential costs to your business.
Some examples of costs you would see in an IT budget are:
Computers & Servers
Internet, Data Connectivity, & Edge Security
Telephones & Mobile Phones
Websites, Intranets, & Communication Platforms
Line of Business Applications
Backup Solutions & Disaster Recovery Plans
IT Employees & Outsourcing
IT Managed Services
And much more
The Top 5 Reasons
Here are the reasons why every business should maintain a healthy IT budget:
Investing In Your Business
A proper IT budget is an investment in your business’ success, not just a cost to the bottom line. Many businesses look at IT as a drain to cash flow. As a result, it often does not get budgeted for and becomes a series of ad-hoc expenses that over time will cost much more money than if you had invested in an ITstrategic plan. By ensuring your business has the right tools for the right people, you will be able to minimise efforts and reduce frustrations within the organisation.
It Affects Everyone
Your IT budget affects everyone in your business, from management to front line workers. Having the wrong tools in the hands of your employees can often be more detrimental than not having a tool at all. In either case, the lack of proper tools and resources is asource of employee dissatisfaction which can result in high turnover. Technology, when properly planned for and evaluated, can make day-to-day tasks simpler and remove the burden of repetition, manual interventions, and allow employees to focus on revenue generating tasks.
Strategy Over Cost
Your business’ IT strategic plan should drive your budget, not the other way around. That does not mean IT has a blank cheque to spend, but rather these two should be done in combination toalign the IT budget with the strategy. Remember your IT budget is not just about figuring out costs; it helps ensure that you plan for the right resources and utilise them efficiently. It is important to ensure you are also investing in the ‘right kind’ of resources. For example, purchasing consumer grade equipment seems like a less expensive solution; however, these products are not designed in the same way as business grade products and typically will cost a business much more over their lifetime.
Spreading Costs Over Time
When it comes to your IT strategic plan, maintaining a three-to-five-year high levelIT budget will aid in determining what your business can afford over time. Additionally, fully phased replacement cycles for servers, computers, and other hardware will help in spreading costs out, keeping security tight, and minimising failures. Another strategy for spreading costs over the long-term budget is looking at leasing options to change capital expenditures into operating costs. Without an IT budget in place, these cash flow strategies are difficult to realise.
Increase Profits & Reduce Costs
Invest in technology thatimproves profits and grows revenue. Ensure these resources are based on modern technologies and work well with your three-to-five-year IT strategic plan. Budgeting can also help in identifying high-cost tools which may be able to be replaced with better, less expensive options on the market (don’t forget to budget for the cost of changing the tools).
Remember, IT spending is an investment in your business’ success, but maintaining a healthy budget has a strategy behind it. One way to ensure you are spending an appropriate amount on IT is to use a percentage of revenue as a guideline. For example, in2019 Computer Economics reported that the average percentage of revenue spent on IT within retail sectors was 1.2%-3.0%, whereas within financial services spending was 4.4%-11.4%. Now that is not to say that you must fall within those values, but it does give you a useful benchmark for companies that are growing and remaining profitable while spending on invaluable technology resources.
In the end, do not be afraid to spend on technology for your business. Our goal is to maximize the value we deliver for our customers, and that requires trust and partnership. Please connect with us to start the conversation!
About the author
Chad Ross is a Senior Business Analyst with our User Experience & Design practice and is based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a seasoned professional with 17+ years of IT related experience and has knowledge in both the technical and business aspects of technology. He is an avid science fiction fan and enjoys seeing how sci-fi has introduced new technologies which have also become realities. From Star Trek communicators (mobile phones) to Artificial Intelligence, he is excited to see what advancements are yet to come. Connect with him on LinkedIn!
About the artist
Jesse Naguib is an illustrator currently earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts at NSCAD University. They specialize in narrative illustration and sequential media. Jesse can be found on various social media sites such as Instagram, Youtube, and Patreon.
For this piece, they write “In the digital age, having an IT budget is such a crucial step for any business. This article had me thinking about how having a financial plan can aid you in keeping all facets of your business on track for success.”