The money you pay towards IT support for your business should form part of a wider IT budget to help you understand what you plan to spend on maintaining the technology for your company.
What is an IT budget?
The IT budget is your company’s allocation of spending on IT over an agreed financial period, typically 12 months.
Anywhere within your company that incurs IT costs should be accounted for. This isn’t necessarily limited to the company you use for IT services, and the IT budget should cover hardware and software costs, outsourcing, disaster recovery, training, projects and more.
The following components are key to include within the IT budget for your business.
Support and maintenance
If you’re looking for IT services for your business, or perhaps you’re already using managed IT services, it’s important to include what you will pay within your overall IT budget.
But, remember, even though you may be paying them to support you with IT issues and maintain your systems, there’s more to IT than just working with an IT specialist.
Computers break, servers get discontinued, and circuit boards stop working. These are a few of many examples of where hardware fails and needs repairing.
On many occasions, such as with Syn-Star IT support, hardware can be repaired by IT specialists.
However, if the time comes when something is beyond economic repair, it’s important to be ready and prepared to spend the money to replace any hardware.
Factoring this within your budget doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be spent, but it’s an important indicator you have thought about these business IT risks and show you’re prepared to pay for it.
But it doesn’t stop at repairing hardware; you’ll need to invest in new hardware too.
This may include, but isn’t limited to, desktops and laptops, your business phones (albeit that’s more for a telecoms budget), network equipment and more.
By partnering with an IT support specialist, you’ll find they can support you with what you need to invest in.
Most IT service providers support with the main software, such as programmes related to Microsoft, Google, and beyond, while many software companies may offer software support themselves.
But when you think about software, and include it within your IT budget, it’s not only about software, but the cost of the licence too.
Keep this in mind, and be aware of any rising costs which may happen on an annual basis and, within some occasions, more than that.
IT consultants are very good at supporting business owners and their teams on the best software to choose to achieve your key aims and objectives.
Again, many IT support companies such as Syn-Star have the ability to coordinate your IT projects.
Whether that’s moving everything from an on-site server to a cloud-based server, or perhaps you’re looking to change your emailing system from Google to Microsoft, projects take additional time and often cost money, so it’s important to consider this when building a budget.
Cyber-security and disaster recovery
For many organisations, especially multi-million-pound large businesses, cyber-security and disaster recovery may fall within its own budget.
But within this context, it’s important to budget your expenditure for these business-critical areas.
What will you do in an event of a cyber-attack, and how much do you predict this risk to cost you to address? Also, how will your business recover from an IT issue?
Insurance may be the answer, but speak to an IT service provider like us for more guidance and support.
The systems you have may only be as good as the people using them.
Sometimes, employees need business computer support, and by training them in key areas agreed by yourself, productivity may increase.
The cost of training can depend on what you may set out to achieve.
You may install a new IT system whereby the whole workforce require training on a key element, which would be more costly compared to something an individual may need support with.
Nonetheless, when it comes to business IT, it’s important to not underestimate the importance of training within areas that matter to you.
Now, when we talk about unforeseen expenses, we appreciate that could be anything from hundreds to thousands of pounds.
To help you with how much to include within discretionary IT spending, it’s good practice to reflect and review on what you may have spent within previous financial terms.
Let’s say, for example, within the last two years you have spent between £1,500 – £2,000 per year on discretionary spending, it may be worth adding £2,000 to your annual budget.
You can justify this element of your IT budget – because you have fact to strengthen an argument for needing it.
Feel free to discuss your company’s IT budget with us, and perhaps we can advise you on areas where your money may be best spent or, even better, saved!
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