How Do You Decide What Goes in Your IT Budget?

Business today requires thoughtful investment in technology. During the budgeting process, it’s not enough to focus solely on workstations, servers, infrastructure, or bandwidth. While these are important pieces of the overall puzzle, there are also other items to consider when creating your IT budget. VoIP phone systems, application delivery models such as CRMs and PSAs, and disaster recovery planning are also significant considerations. But how do you make the right choices for your IT budget?

What goes into an IT budget?

Assess Total Cost of Ownership

One item commonly overlooked when developing an IT budget is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This comes from supporting the technology you have in place. How much does it cost to operate? How much labor does it take to support? What happens when equipment prices shift? Will you need to upgrade or replace equipment?

Sometimes ownership isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. It can be a big expense over time. However, you can reduce your TCO through the use of virtualization and outsourcing.

Use Technology to Minimize Costs

With all this talk about the cost of IT in a business budgeting process, you may conclude that it will be an ever-growing expense. However, it is possible to minimize your IT costs through a combination of the proper technology, service agreements, and well-thought-out strategies.

WiFi Network For Your Office

When you move to wireless networking, you may reduce or eliminate some infrastructure costs, particularly with regard to cabling and devices. When you add staff or rearrange workspaces, your wireless network should adapt easily without the need to reconfigure your infrastructure.

Implement Cloud Services

Moving to cloud-based services allows you to shift away from capital expenses such as servers and workstations. Investments in hardware mean ongoing maintenance in-house, as well as upgrades and eventual replacement. Cloud technologies allow you to have services such as email, endpoint protection, and virtual servers & workstations without the investment in equipment.

Schedule Maintenance

Operating system patches and firmware updates reduce vulnerabilities and help to improve hardware performance. This is where an IT support agreement can help you to stay on top of these important events.  An IT support provider will adhere to maintenance schedules and conduct updates with minimal disruption to your business day.

Replace Technology

The balance of long-term value with maintenance costs can be a gamble for many companies. Eventually, maintenance (and repair) costs outstrip any value a piece of hardware may have provided. Replacing hardware or software before it reaches its End of Life helps to protect your business from security and performance issues, which can be quite expensive over time.

Monitor and Manage

Don’t wait until something is broken to take action. Monitoring and management tools operate quietly in the background, providing proactive issue detection and remediation. A central management point for servers, workstations, and other essential network devices allows for the adjustment of system resources according to the workload on your network.

Evaluating Your Present and Future Tech Needs

Budgeting for IT can be a complex process, particularly if you’re not a tech expert. Lieberman Technologies can help you to assess your needs and make recommendations for both now and in the long term. We understand how technology can help your company be more productive and profitable. Contact us if you want help with planning your company’s IT budget!