Have you started thinking about your IT Budget?
It’s that time of year when we begin making plans and goals for the upcoming year in our business. Whether your organization is in this process now, a little behind schedule, or not quite at that level of proactive planning yet, we have a few key topics that we want everyone to keep in mind as you begin setting up your IT Budget for the coming year.
What is the level of IT maturity in your organization? Are you embracing new technologies in an effort to keep your competitive edge or are you still running on Windows XP? Do you plan in advance for your IT expenditures or adopt on an as-needed basis? These are just a few indicators of maturity in technology.
Depending on your company’s level of IT maturity, you may consider a number of different options to help you facilitate and organize your IT budget this year.
- Companies who are lagging in the tech adoption category (and would like to begin closing the gap between themselves and their competitors) may consider bringing in a technology consultant or service provider to offer anything from guidance and recommendations to a fully-managed solution.
- Those who are interested in trying all the latest tech will want to weed out options with the highest risk of failure to reduce costs that come with replacing tech that is no longer supported.
- A company who meticulously plans for every expenditure will certainly look to an expert to assist in identifying the most practical technology solutions with the best ROI for their particular business.
- Non-planners might be interested in roughing out a more flexible plan that allows for mid-year pivoting but still provides a general roadmap that will help achieve organizational goals.
What kind of growth is your company expecting over the coming year? If you expect any kind of boost in sales, what kind of plan do you have in place to meet the inevitable expansion of your workforce?
The more people you add to your team, the more complex your technology systems become – from basics like permission-setting and software licensing to data collection and analysis. What are you doing to prepare for these needs from a technology standpoint?
Create room in your IT budget to account and prepare for this kind of growth, if you forecast it. Don’t let your technology become the reason you can’t continue to scale your business.
How prepared are you in the event that part of your technology fails? Do you have a plan in place or do you just tackle each issue when it crops up?
It’s critical for today’s businesses to take technology into account and plan for the inherent risks that come with it. You can’t plan for the future of your IT if you only think about it when something goes wrong. Devote time to evaluate the impact an outage would have on your team. What kind of lost time or lost revenue would you experience?
How are you positioned against your competition? It’s HARD to keep tabs on your competitors and how they are setting themselves apart. It’s not easy to position your own company in a way that is not only unique but also easily demonstrates your advantages over your competitor.
When it comes to technology and competitive positioning, we think it’s kind of a no-brainer. Put simply, technology creates streamlined user experiences, which improves customer satisfaction, which leads to referrals…you see where we’re going? Of course, effective implementations of technology are invaluable for your backend/operational teams, as well.