More and more businesses have been allocating a significant amount of budget in making sure their IT network and systems are running smoothly, with as little disruption as possible for better business efficiency and performance. In fact, global spending on IT products and services is forecast to hit $3.5 trillion in 2015. All for the reason that businesses are now seeing the benefits of a great IT solution helping to drive business growth.
It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg for the upkeep of technology and hardware as long as IT professionals know to gain control of the IT budget and think of innovative ways to help their organization make informed decisions.
Here are some tips to help IT professionals maximize their budgets to help achieve better business outcomes:
Build a budget squad in other departments
As software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings continue to eclipse network-based applications for marketing, sales and finance executives, these departments are quickly becoming key influencers in the IT budget conversation. While all lines of business are chewing up more and more of the IT budget, it’s most apparent in marketing, with Gartner famously predicting that CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017.
It is important for the Virtual CIO (vCIO) to work with the senior management team to better understand the big plans on the horizon that can affect the organization’s overall IT strategy. It should be the role of the vCIO to then educate the senior management on the value of the proposed investment and the potential ROI, and to help your business continuously develop your IT strategy to better suit your business needs at the time. A predictable technology budget for both the short and long-terms can also be produced by vCIOs for the business to utilize.
Make sure you're on top of hardware and network maintenance
Your company's vCIO at the helm of your IT operations can help with looking at maintaining your hardware by being on top of maintenance work and upgrades. This will save your business on what could easily be a costly repair. Your vCIO can build IT strategies and find solutions that are both sustainable and scalable so you won't have to worry about upkeep of your IT hardware.
Read the fine print
Today’s vendors are big on promises. Organizations should do their best make sure they are getting what they pay for when it comes to services. To ensure this, the organization's vCIO should monitor data, which includes bandwidth speeds, data transfer history, equipment and SaaS uptime. These can then be used to make quarterly assessments and make sure that guarantees and service level agreements (SLAs) are being met and that you are indeed only paying for what you're using.
Opt for subscription-based services where you can
We can all thank the technology that is the cloud for making available the use of office productivity software and virtual desktops without having to pay for the full price of the service. With subscription-based services such as SaaS and DaaS, IT cost comes as a utility bill, only having to pay what has been used. Utilize these amazing services where you can and see your IT budget optimized.
Organizations should always ensure bandwidth is being used properly before making a decision to increase their plan with their service provider. This is most especially the case in remote locations that rely on expensive satellite or leased line connections, and use WAN acceleration or VPNs. Monitoring bandwidth flow can help in identifying peak usage, as well as unusual usage, which include misuse, and easily identify where changes in behavior can occur to help lead to reduced usage.
There are a certainly a lot more ways to stretch the budget, but these can serve as excellent starting points to maximize your budget spending. Developing a budget for IT doesn't have to be a complicated and complex process if your business is in constant communication with a reliable vCIO who understands your business objectives well - and can translate that to a sustainable IT system.
TLC Solutions can help assess your network and provide your business with a tailored IT solutions for your specific needs, so you only pay for what you need and what would help your business progress.
Adapted from Maximizing IT budgets to achieve better business outcomes by Christian Twardawa (Beta News)