There’s no doubt that IT spending is one of the most important outgoings that any business has to control. Many companies, however, don’t have a full handle on their budget in this area. Neither do they understand if what they have is suitable for their business in the first place.
Some business spend too much, others have set their budget way to low. Finding the happy medium that delivers everything you need is a challenge but certainly worth the effort.
Deciding Your Budget
There are a number of different factors that will affect the percentage of your budget that you spend on IT. These include:
- The sector you operate in. Banks tend to devote 7.16% on IT, according to Gartner. The building sector can be as low as 1.5 % and the average is around 3.3%.
- The cybersecurity environment can have an impact on spending. In recent years, following a number of high-profile breaches, many high-risk companies have upped their IT budget by as much as 50%.
- The size of your business and the budget available is, of course, going to determine quite a bit.
- The truth is, however, that many companies are underspending on their IT and potentially missing the opportunities that the latest developments have to offer.
IT covers a much wider range of assets than many businesses realise. It’s more than just cybersecurity and operating platforms. Your IT spending also includes the hosting package you have for your website, your phones, the cloud services you use, as well as the software packages that help you deliver your business goals, including your CRM and packages such as Office 365.
If you’re a small business, your IT spending can be spread over a bunch of different areas which makes it difficult to keep track of.
How to Control Your IT Spending
The first thing you need to do is carry out an audit and list everything that you use and how much it costs you. Many SMBs don’t have a clearly defined budget for everything under the IT umbrella and it can be quite eye-opening once they discover what they spend.
1. Look at IT as an Investment
Do you think IT is a necessary evil? Then think again.
The mistake that many companies make is not understanding that IT forms the central spine around which the rest of their business operates. Changing how you view IT is important because it can open up new areas of investigation and ensure you make more productive choices when it comes to the services you employ.
For instance, cybersecurity is an investment not only in your own business but your customers as well. The last thing you want is for their data to be stolen and your reputation damaged. Better collaboration tools that your staff are able to access are also an investment because they improve their productivity which in turn boosts your bottom line.
Stop thinking ‘what do I need’ and start exploring the possibilities that IT solutions can deliver.
2. Create an IT Budget
You may be surprised at the number of businesses that don’t have a separate IT budget. Unless you do, you won’t be able to control your IT spending even in a very basic sense. A clearly defined budget helps you keep track of spending and gives you the chance to decide if you want to put more in particular areas of your operation.
3. Focus More on Productivity
The key to successful IT budgeting is to look at it from a productivity viewpoint. There are many software solutions and cloud-based services that may improve the performance of your business and these are developing all the time. For example, the growth of AI help and support services in recent times could take pressure off your staff and increase customer loyalty because the most popular queries are being answered with little or no time delay.
4. Be Strategic
Finally, it’s no use increasing or lowering your budget unless you are doing it for a reason. It may be pertinent to your business to cut costs but IT is generally not the best area to do this. You always need a good plan and it pays to discuss your options with an IT service provider that understands your needs.
At Cyan Solutions, we can help you better develop your IT spending and keep it under control while really delivering for your business. We provide IT support, cybersecurity solutions, virtual CIO and cloud based services that can really help transform productivity at a price you can afford. Contact our expert team today to find out more.