Telephone systems, computers, software, and printers are examples of basic office equipment you need to start a business. Believe it or not, these examples are only the tip of the iceberg to build an information technology department that fits your business needs. What are you considering when creating your IT budget?
Small business owners tend to focus only on the basic equipment when they should consider other tools available to improve their operations. Don’t know where to start?
We’ve got you covered. Here are the 5 steps you should follow to develop the right information technology budget for your organization.
1. Define Your Business Needs
You may think defining your business needs only applies to your strategic and operational development. However, identifying how to harness the power of technology to grow your company is vital to take it to the next level. An example is how food and beverage wholesaler should consider upgrading their inventory and sales software.
If you’re able to streamline your processes, you can lower your overall costs and boost your efficiency. To create the right budget for your organization, the starting point is looking for areas where you can use technology to promote business growth.
2. Assess Your IT Department
Does your organization have an IT department? If you answered no, you should get on it as soon as possible. You may think you need to bring on board a lot of employees to take care of your technology needs, but that’s far from the truth.
Today, you can outsource IT services and even lease equipment instead of buying it. It doesn’t matter if your organization has an IT department or not, the key is figuring out where your business stands when it comes to technology. What are your competitors doing differently?
How can you make it easier for your clients to do business with you? Ask yourself questions to pinpoint the issues in your IT department and the types of solutions you need.
3. Compare Costs vs Department Efficiencies
After you identify how to improve your information technology, it’s time to do your research and understand how this technology will help your organization. Is the investment worth it?
If you’re considering outsourcing IT services, you should learn about the difference it makes and what to expect when you add 24/7 monitoring and support services to your package. Ongoing support may seem too expensive, but it can help you prevent business interruption due to problems with your technology.
4. Request Quotes
When you decide the services and equipment needs, it’s time to request quotes from several IT companies. Focus on finding providers that offer the services you need and help other clients in your industry. If the company specializes in your type of business, its experts will offer solutions that fit your needs.
5. Create a Budget
After obtaining quotes from different providers, you should create a budget detailing everything from equipment to outsourced technology services. Staff compensation, hardware, software, network infrastructure, and any projects are examples of expenses you should include in your budget.
Can You Create the Right IT Budget for Your Business?
You can create an IT budget that fits your small business needs. It all comes down to developing the best strategy and doing your research.
If you feel uncomfortable creating the budget on your own, you may consider consulting an accounting professional. Your accountant can provide insight into your financials, potential deductions from IT department equipment and services.
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