No matter the size of your company, having an appropriate IT budget is critical to your operations and ultimately your success. This involves first coming up with a budget that works for you and your company’s needs, then following that budget closely while ensuring you do everything you can to squeeze the most out of it. Below are five tips for doing just that.
#1 – Get Your Priorities in Order
Those new technologies you saw in a magazine or in an ad may look tempting, but it’s important to turn your focus back to the basics and take the time to understand what you really need. Sit down and make a list of your company’s priorities. Determine what you absolutely must have in terms of your infrastructure as opposed to what you would like to have at some point. Be sure to consider things like buying hardware, upgrading things as necessary, and keeping up with maintenance.
#2 – Get a Network Assessment
If you’ve never had your business network assessed for potential security issues, now is the perfect time to do it – and the sooner, the better. Network assessments are designed in such a way to figure out where your network is strong as well as where it is lacking. This can go a long way toward helping you prioritize what you absolutely have to have to keep your company’s data safe.
#3 – Manage Your Resources Appropriately
If you will be undertaking an IT project of any kind in order to get your network up to par, see if you can move funds around from one area to pay for a little extra IT help. What’s more, consider outsourcing your IT projects and consulting in order to save even more. Outsourcing may seem a little scary, but when you pick the right local company, it’s just like having your own employee on the payroll. They work with you very closely and truly get to know your business.
#4 – Look for the Most Cost-Effective Solutions
Don’t look for the cheapest solutions because like anything else, when it comes to IT, you often get exactly what you pay for. Instead, look for cost-effective solutions that provide you with the absolute best value for every dollar you spend. Outsourcing is often cost-effective, as is utilizing VoIP phone service as opposed to traditional landlines or even choosing hardware as a service rather than buying all your own equipment. These things can really give you the best bang for your buck in many situations.
#5 – Use Your Money to Make More Money
Though it may seem impossible to spend money to make money when it comes to your company’s IT, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. As an example, if you invested in cloud-based software that you really love, consider offering that same solution to your client. Though you may not make a lot of money, it could help you get more for what you’re already spending, and ultimately, this stretches your IT budget even more.
Getting the most out of your IT budget doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about understanding what your company’s priorities are, then finding ways to get the most value out of the budget that you have. To do this, manage your resources appropriately, schedule a network assessment so you can better understand your network issues, and then find the best and most cost-effective solutions to address those issues.