Budgeting is an important part of any business and it probably falls on your manager’s shoulders to decide what proportion of company funds to dedicate to IT resources in the coming year.
While most businesses recognise that IT is a necessary and important expense, in tough economic times belts are being tightened across the board, and it’s not always easy to persuade your boss to put more money into something they probably see as working fine the way it is.
As technology changes so quickly, it is possible to sink a vast amount of money into IT equipment, software, and services. Most managers are well aware of this and keep a tight reign on their finances for fear that the budget will be blown on new and shiny objects.
However skimping on the IT budget is never a sensible strategy, particularly in today’s environment of growing cyber threats, and considering the increased efficiency and productivity that can be gained from up to date hardware and tools.
If you find yourself in the position where your IT wishlist significantly outweighs the budget available, it may well be worth the effort to try to convince your boss that more spending is required, using some of the following convincing arguments:
Upgraded software and hardware is more responsive, allows employees to do their jobs more efficiently, and can help to speed up business processes overall.
As many individuals know from personal experience, attempting to work on slow, outdated equipment, or using badly coded software is frustrating and can make a job take much longer than necessary.
Often, the funds used to upgrade IT tools can be regained very quickly through increased output and staff efficiency – if a new computer allows a member of staff to complete twice as much work in a day, the decision to invest in that equipment should be a no-brainer.
IT Security is something that simply cannot be ignored in today’s reality of increasing cyber-attacks, growing resistance of malicious software against preventative controls, and greater risks of data breaches as more data is uploaded to the cloud.
Without enough money and support from management, it can become increasingly difficult to keep company data secure as the number of apps and devices used by each individual employees grows every year.
IT security is also a concept that is commonly misunderstood by upper-management and those in charge of budgets. Many managers do not have sufficient IT training or time to keep up with the latest news in cybersecurity, in order to understand the risks or the impact of a data breach.
Using statistics and data can be a very effective way to demonstrate how vital it is to protect your company from these risks. For example explaining that over 4 million data records are stolen each day, or ransomware cost businesses $1 billion in 2016, really brings the point home to cash-strapped and risk-averse managers.
It is no longer enough to simply invest in anti-virus software and assume your business is safe. IT security should be central to any modern company and sufficient time, money, and resources should be invested into staff training, backup and recovery systems, and threat detection services.
Just like a car, computer hardware and software needs regular maintenance, or it will eventually fail. Using IT resources to the point of failure can result in lost business through downtime, reduced productivity, increased costs for recovery, and potentially a catastrophic data loss.
All IT hardware degrades over time and will become increasingly slower and more prone to glitches and errors the longer it is used. This can impact productivity significantly and potentially put important data at risk.
It is also important that software and operating systems are maintained for security reasons by installing updates and patches in a timely manner. Once hackers find a security flaw in a piece of software, it can be exploited extremely quickly and all those who have not stayed on top of their security updates are vulnerable.
Maintenance should therefore be an important aspect of any IT plan, and budgeted for accordingly.
Help to Achieve Business Objectives
While explaining the main three advantages of efficiency, security and maintenance can help your case. It’s equally, if not more important, to tie everything back to the company’s fundamental objectives.
Each department within the company has its own main objectives and these all aid in achieving the main objectives of the business, which in most cases is to turn as large a profit as possible.
If you can demonstrate how increased IT spending will help to achieve these major objectives in terms of sales, business development, customer service, and other aspects of the business, it will help to make it a lot more justifiable to your manager.
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