Tech budgets can be unwieldy. Here are ideas to wrangle yours.
Technology is leveling the playing field between businesses of all sizes, but it’s also creating a steep curve for ones that don’t understand how tech adoption is now crucial to an organization’s continued growth and success. But “adopting technology” doesn’t mean doing everything in-house.
In fact, outsourcing some areas of your IT spend can allow you to reduce costs, increase quality, and re-invest in tech areas that closely impact your customer or core product. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your tech budget is ready for the future:
1. Know your tech investment vs. your hardware costs
Many business leaders struggle to accurately account for their IT spend, which leads them to believe that additional investments are out of the realm of possibility. If needed, enlist the help of an outside expert, but review your budget again to make sure you are accounting for staff, hardware, software, and project expenses. When you’ve completed this exercise, look for benchmarks to compare your business to others; or really, just call a few trusted peers and compare notes. Where are you over- or under-spending?
If tech budgeting is something your organization excels at, but your budget becomes a “wish list” for every tech initiative the company has, use this to re-align around how your tech budget supports your business’s top priorities. Which brings us to our next point…
2. Prioritize your top tech initiatives, then optimize everything else
If your refrigerator at home stopped working, would you buy a new house? Of course not. This seems obvious if you are a homeowner, but many growing businesses get caught feeding a beast of legacy processes and systems that are inefficient and troublesome and almost impossible to change. What’s more, the cost of changing can become so expensive that top IT initiatives are pushed aside. If you haven’t yet, align your IT priorities around your business’ key strategies, then create a roadmap to replace outdated or inefficient systems with ones that will be easy to replace in the future when newer technologies become available. (Anticipate this being sooner than you think.)
3. Consider outsourcing non-core IT activities
IT service desk and support, IT maintenance, security, backup, and recovery are all important to your business. But any more, they should not be taking the time and resources of people on your team who could otherwise be building for the future. The upfront work of selecting and implementing an outsourced provider can seem daunting, but more businesses are turning this direction. The investment in this relationship is key to scaling a tech budget by bringing focus and expertise to an area that should be supporting your business behind the scenes. If you’re unsure where to start, a good next read is our post on the 5 questions you should ask IT providers.
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