11 Jun 2014

Managing your IT budget

As budgets are handed down for the next financial year, you’re unlikely to have the cash to put all of your plans into action, so how do you maintain a drive for innovation while ensuring your core responsibilities are properly funded?

Consolidate Service Providers

It’s likely you’re dealing with more than one managed service provider, and it’s also likely that consolidating with one of your larger providers will garner you a decent saving. If there’s one you’re satisfied with, it’s time to talk shop.

Procure licenses through a specialist

Specialists can often acquire licenses at significant discounts, delivering cost-savings as well as shoring up your compliance position. You may also receive better pricing on software licenses through your preferred hardware supplier.

Get software subscriptions for short-term projects

If you only require access to certain programs for specific projects, it could be worth taking out short-term subscriptions rather than paying for lifetime licensing.

Invest in projects over multiple financial years

If you can’t fund an entire project in a single fiscal year, you can run a pilot or proof-of-concept component this financial year, and use the results to convince the company that the remainder is worth funding.

Prioritise OpEx

Capital is a critical and limited resource. It makes sense to invest it in specific equipment and business projects, rather than sink too much of it into IT.

Therefore, today’s best IT budgets are geared towards operational expenses. Whether it’s infrastructure, CRM or disaster recovery, it’s now possible to incorporate almost all IT systems under the operational expenditure banner. Take advantage.

Ask your trusted service provider

When planning your IT budget, it’s important to think smartly about how you’re going to spend. The right technologies can help to drive your business by making it more efficient and by improving customer service. Make sure that your search for them is comprehensive by asking open questions of your technology vendor. What new technologies are out there? What benefits can they bring to my business?

You should get some really interesting responses. From mobility to social media integration or custom applications, it’s possible that your business might not even be aware of technologies that can deliver the biggest benefits.

Dougan McMurray is Brennan IT’s IT Manager.