Budgeting for IT investments isn't something all businesses look forward to, but whether or not you plan for them, the need for business technology persists. Instead of signing off on invoices as they come, business owners are taking a proactive approach and calendaring out their IT investments. Is it necessary? No. But it is a smart business decision - it allows businesses to plan for IT investments in a way that is proactive and budget-friendly.
Calendaring IT Investments
Without calendaring, IT investments have a sneaky way of surprising business owners and forcing them into reactive decision-making. Here are five steps to get you started off right.
Step #1 Take Inventory of Your IT Assets
The first step is always going to be taking an inventory. What assets do you have, what is each asset’s lifecycle and when are all of the subscription renewals?
STEP #2 Establish Your Goals
What are the goals you’re hoping to achieve? Your specific goals will be dependent on your particular circumstances, but here are some examples: increasing security, enabling mobile workers, disaster and recovery planning and developing a folder filing system.
STEP #3 Determine Your Budget
Budgeting is an essential piece to building out a calendar of IT investments and eliminating those unexpected expenses that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Getting a pulse on what you’re actually spending – routine expenses, one-off purchases, staff resources – will make it easier to narrow down a realistic budget. Plus, you want to look at your goals and consider how much those are worth investing in.
STEP #4 Build Out a Timeline
This is where the first three steps all come together. You’re looking at what you have (IT assets), where you’re trying to go (goals) and the resources that’ll get you there (budget), and
Step #5 Work with a Managed IT Services Provider
Building an IT roadmap and keeping all the moving pieces accounted for is a hefty task for businesses. But, I’m here to let you know one thing: You don’t have to do it alone.
Working with a managed IT services provider for calendaring your IT investments is a lot like working with a financial advisor to build out your path to retirement. You have an industry expert who listens to your needs, assesses your assets, helps you establish your goals and builds out a realistic timeline for you to reach them.
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