A concise and strategic It support budget is essential to remain Profitable and in control of your It networks.
An IT budget covers all forecasted spending on hardware and software requirements during a company’s financial year. As an intrinsic element of every part of trading, resources must always be available from It departments. Despite this need being recognised by many and budgets being created, 1/3 of companies are said to exceed their annual IT budgets due to incorrect forecasting.
At Creative Networks, we believe that Without a strategic It support budget in place, companies expose themselves to many risks, with security breaches and employee performance declines being two of the most serious examples.
Creating an IT budget does not have to be daunting when following our guide showcased below. Keep reading to find out how you can plan for the next year with guaranteed IT support.
Why Is It Important to Create an It Support Budget?
Before tackling the annual budget planning, it is important to understand why planning for It support is crucial. This will help you define pressure points during the process, ensuring that no areas of investment are missed out or under-budgeted for.
- Cyber security threats affect, on average, 40% of businesses each year. Factoring cyber essentialssuch as security compliance, disaster recovery, and user awareness training are Vital. Without having the correct It support budgets in place to manage cyber security, your company will be exposed to potentially damaging risks that could cause an end to operations in the worst-case scenarios.
Every aspect, from cybersecurity to email filtering, must be accounted for in a successful Itsupport budget.
- The It support function is required by all departments in a business. Without having the right spend available, you risk other departments being affected by a lack of It resources. This represents that It support is a factor in the entire operating strategy of a company.
- Risk is reduced when needs are properly budgeted for. Risk planning requires Capital to be in place to access when the worst happens. Whether you are dealing with an unexpected disaster recovery Situation or a forecasted project side-effect, the It budget will take a hit no matter the outcome.
By assessing your company’s risks and having a budget assigned, everyone can operate more confidently in the face of Inevitable challenges.
- Performance can be analysed more strategically throughout the year. Due to their alignment with strategy, It support budgets can also be used to measure performance.
By having a robust plan broken down by department, activity, and timeframe, managers can plot progress against predicted actions to highlight any need for further development. This allows real-time and Reactivity to keep a company running at Its most efficient.
If you want to know about what It support means, click here to read our blog.
What Steps Can You Take to Create an It Budget?
If keeping your It department primed and ready to spring into action is a priority for your business, you need a strong It support budget in place. By following the Creative Network steps to achieving this, you can accomplish that with no issues.
Carry Out a Full Assessment of Past Spend
This should be across the past year and extended periods to make for a solid foundation for your new budget. By understanding your previous spending, you can highlight the following:
- What budgets have and haven’t worked in the past?
- Where spend has gone over, which is important as you can see which departments or area of It support is responsible for this.
- How much risks and un-factored situations cost you to ensure you create a suitable contingency planning budget.
- Which areas of It support may you need additional help with, reflecting other cost requirements for your new budget?
When doing this, you are looking to highlight consistencies and irregularities to create an image of what your spending needs to look like in the future. This also allows each business member to obtain a clear view of activities which means that all budget decisions are data-based, making for a smoother approvals process when It comes to obtaining sign-off.
Ascertain Company Requirements
It support is a far-reaching function that aids with daily tasks through to top-level strategic operations. You can only create a budget by understanding how this function will be used within your organisation.
It department needs to be mapped along with understanding what projects the rest of the company plans to work on to ensure the correct budget is available. To do this, you should factor in users’ priorities from both software and hardware, current issues, ways to improve efficiency, and overall Positioning within the market versus Competitors. All these factors contribute to the overall IT support needs.
During this phase, It managers should also understand any change in company objectives and data needs also to ensure they are factored into the budget.
One of the purposes of It is to alleviate team pressures and keep a business running efficiently. By planning for how the support function needs to be used in the future, you can offer a solution to colleagues that will Positively affect an entire company.
Highlight Current Expenditure, Recurring Costs and Future Needs
Just because you are creating a new budget doesn’t mean that all costs are different.
Part of planning an It support budget is looking at current recurring costs to ensure they are the pillars of your plan. Whether this is in-house support or outsourced It agency help, It all contributes to the financial operating model of your departments.
Elements that need to be considered within this category include training costs, network management and security fees, the cost for preferred hardware and software, subscriptions, employee costs, and department-specific IT budgets.
This is when you also need to highlight what projects are coming up that will require It support over the next year. Whether smaller ventures or company-wise IT upgrades, everything needs to be scoped and quoted to ensure that no nasty surprises crop up later down the line.
Create a Succinct Coverage Plan for Staffing
It support is one of the functions in a business that can be outsourced thanks to professional It agencies, such as our own, seamlessly.
During the planning and budgeting phases, you will need to consider what your It team looks like to cover the business demands you will face over the next year. Whilst it can be hard to forecast for staff changeovers, you can draw answers from the upcoming business priorities and the resources you have needed over the past year.
What Types of It Support Are Available?
It support is a function that looks different in every business, which is one of the things that we love about it. The term correlates to managing an information technology network and the various tasks that contribute to its success.
The Creative Marketing It support services are classed as Level 4 It support as they are outsourced assistance for a business. Level 4 support covers each of the other sub-levels, providing a matrix for managing technology enterprise needs.
The other forms of It support are as follows:
Level One: Level 1 IT support is the initial stage of assistance. Covered within this category is troubleshooting issues such as software access, hardware usage, cyber security defences, customer support, collating data, setting up accounts, providing support for wider teams, and many other forms of operations that keep a business running on a daily basis.
Find out more about Level 1 It support by clicking here.
Level Two: Level 2 IT support is the middle level of escalation for IT issues, with responsibility for dealing directly with both Level 1 and 3 tasks. This could include anything from a software access requirement to cyber security risks that need specialist escalation measures.
Find out more about Level 2 It support by clicking here.
Level Three: The most senior level of IT support an organisation can have is Level 3, which relates to the top-level activities needed to keep a company operating safely.
Find out more about Level 3 It support by clicking here.
What Will You Accomplish from Having an Approved It Support Budget?
Financial business planning is important as it improves the stability of a company. This form of planning also improves strategic decision-making, ensures a company appeals to investors, improves overall brand perception, and helps get ahead of tax planning for the coming year of operations.
It support also affects each department, so having a secure plan in place and budgets assigned will improve company culture overall.
An efficient business is an organised one!
How Can Creative Networks Align with Your It Support Budgets?
We wear many hats at Creative Networks. As one of the G-Cloud 13 partners, security specialists, hardware experts, and software wizzes, we know what it takes to implement successful It support.
If you need our help with strategic planning and creating your budgets for the coming year, we are always on hand to answer any questions. Our bespoke packages also mean we work to any budget once your finances are defined.
Contact us today to find out more.