Budgeting your technology expenses is a comprehensive process that should factor in a variety of variables including each solution's rotation schedule, leasing vs buying your solutions outright, a 10 year projection for expenses, what percent of your budget should be dedicated to each solution, and so much more!
IT Budgeting is not an easy process and can leave IT leaders concerned about the accuracy of their cost projections. Oftentimes, it can be hard to get pricing estimates for years in advance and accurately estimate for future internal growth, increase in prices, or quantity discounts.
Developing a worksheet can be difficult, which is why we have created an IT budgeting template which we offer as a free service for all organizations who want to accurately estimate technology expenses for the next 10-plus years.
In this article, I'll explain the process we suggest to build an accurate IT budget. I'll also share how we can assist you in this process and walk you through an example of how you can work with us to build a rock solid IT budget for your organization.
Step 1: Audit Current Technology
All technology budgeting must be preceded by a complete technology audit. For example, to accurately estimate the future costs of technology upgrades, you'd need to know when your current technology licensing expires. This can be a long process, but having an estimate of the quantity of your various solutions and when they will expire/be due for an upgrade, is a must.
To assist you with this process, we have put together a comprehensive survey. This survey asks questions regarding your currently technology and licensing information. Completing this survey (even if only estimating) will be the first step to building a fool-proof technology budget.
Step 2: Compile Information and Create Plan
Once the survey is completed and submitted. Pine Cove Consulting compiles that information and creates a sustainable 10-year technology plan. This plan will form the foundation of your technology and will be used as the basis for discussion in the next step. Specifically, this plan would outline the costs for each technology solution (cyber-security, network infrastructure, cloud communications, and more) and would give you a 10-year perspective of technology costs based on whether or not you'd like to lease the technology or buy outright.
Once the plan is created, we work hand-on-hand with the client to outline specific goals the organization wants to accomplish. We can then customize the initial plan to achieve and surpass the goals set by the organization.
Step 3: Present, Analyze, and Customize Results
The last step of the IT budgeting exercise is to meet together, either in-person or remotely, to review the IT budget and make changes. At this point Pine Cove Consulting presents the custom made IT budget and technology plan to the organization and discusses it. Because this is a living document, meaning it will change frequently as technology and IT leadership change, we recommend constantly reviewing and updating the budget.
As we review the budget together, we customize it to fit your goals. For example, if you want to improve a specific aspect of your cyber-security in the next year then we can budget for that. If you need to stretch out your current technology a little more then we can make that happen. We want to make sure the budget aligns with your organizational goals.
It may seem daunting to work with a vendor to build your IT budget but we have the experience and expertise to assist you in fulfilling your technology vision.
We've created a 9-minute on-demand webinar that you can view today where we walk through this three step process and show you the IT budgeting template in action. Click the button below to watch now!