There’s no telling when rising costs can start to get the better of your business. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you budget properly. That goes whether you are a small business with just a few employees or a large corporation with thousands.
If you’re a company that wants to stay ahead of its competitors, one thing you will certainly need to focus on is your IT budget planning. It’s pivotal to ensure you are able to deliver great services to your customers and provide the tools that your staff need to promote your business and drive it forward.
It’s not all plain sailing, however. There are plenty of pitfalls that can siphon off elements of your budget, leaving less for more important areas of your business. To help out, the team at Cyan Solutions have put together a list of the top budgeting mistakes you will want to avoid.
1. Not Fully Understanding Your Needs
Whether you are planning a digital transformation, want to up your cybersecurity posture or simply want to migrate your business operation to the cloud, understanding what each move entails and why you are doing it is important.
Many of the businesses we come across, treat their IT as a piecemeal thing rather than a series of interconnected dots that create a whole. Before you go about IT budget planning, your first step is to list the components of your current provision and decide what purpose each serves. Then you can begin to look at what you want to add to make your business more secure, more productive or more efficient.
Aligning your IT needs with your business needs is imperative. Making sure that your tech spend is heading in the right direction to support growth and revenue is not always an easy thing to do, however.
2. Budgeting and Timeline
This is a common issue with many businesses operating on a fairly restricted budget. It can mean you end up budgeting from month to month rather than looking at 1 year, 2 year or even a 5-year projection. That also means you are unlikely to have an IT budget in place that can help service you if you intend to grow. Try to see as far ahead as possible and understand what your costs are and how you are going to meet them.
3. Not Being Ready for Changes
It’s all well and good spending money on new technology but a huge mistake businesses make is not ensuring they are good to go when it is finally in place. An example of this would be if you were planning to migrate your operational procedures and other IT to the cloud so that it can be accessed securely from anywhere. If you haven’t trained your staff for using this new approach and you haven’t considered other issues such as your online security, you could be wasting money and not delivering a decent ROI from the outset.
Moving to the cloud has more benefits than simply cost savings and businesses need to be aware of this while deciding what their priorities are. If you are a company that has busier periods during the year (for example, Christmas), being able to up your capacity at this time can be of huge benefit and that’s something moving to the cloud can facilitate.
4. Choosing the Wrong Software License Plan
Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, subscription licensing (eg SalesForce, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps) has now become the norm for most companies. What businesses often fail to do, however, is understand their actual license needs, which often means they over commit and, inevitably, overspend. A team of sales people, for example, will have very different needs to teams working in operations or finance. Some users may just need access to online tools, others will need the full suite of features. Identifying which license plan suits each role in your business could save you significant costs in the long term.
5. Tech and Value
It can be tempting to get the latest bit of tech, just because everyone else is doing it or because you’ve seen an ad somewhere. Business owners looking to improve their efficiency or add value to their customers, bring in new technological solutions without truly understanding whether they are adding value or not.
On the other side of this is making sure that the software and IT services you are currently using are actually still providing value for money. For businesses, especially smaller ones, this can be a difficult balancing act to get right, especially if they have new technology that impacts on the performance of older software.
In a rapidly changing world where new tech is appearing almost daily, it is difficult for businesses to keep up. While sticking with tried and tested solutions can seem financially sensible, there always comes a point where that more advanced technology has to be given some breathing room.
At Cyan Solutions, we provide a range of IT support and services for businesses across the UK. If you’d like to find out how we can help support your next round of IT budget planning, contact the team at Cyan today.