Somehow, December is upon us yet again, which can only mean one thing: a lot of businesses out there are currently trying to figure out how to hit the ground running as we move into 2020 in just a few short weeks.
Not too long ago, I sat down with a fairly new client of ours for a lunch meeting and we were discussing this very process. As someone who has been in this business for many years, it’s something I’m going through right now myself – so it was nice to commiserate with someone about all of it for an hour over a delicious meal.
But when the topic turned to budgeting, this client said something to me that I’d like to take some time to discuss with all of you today. He told me that the 2020 budgets for nearly all of his departments were accounted for, with the sole exception of IT.
He said he didn’t really “see the need” to put too much thought in it because he saw IT as a way to “maintain the status quo,” so to speak. Other areas of the business were responsible for growth and innovation, so he’d rather focus his attention on those elements instead. He’d figure out his IT budget as he went along next year.
While he is certainly entitled to his opinion, it is my opinion that this approach is dead wrong. Because IT budgeting isn’t just critical to the health and well-being of your technology infrastructure. It’s absolutely critical to your firm’s long-term success for three major reasons that I’d love to take the opportunity to explore.
It’s All About Mitigating Risks
One of the major reasons why IT budgeting is so critical to your firm’s success is actually one that a lot of people don’t realize until it’s far too late: risk mitigation.
When you go through the IT budgeting process and have total visibility over your infrastructure, you’re therefore in a better position to allocate the proper funds for critical aspects like cyber security and backup/disaster recovery. This alone helps you mitigate the risks of security breaches and data losses, especially against today’s sophisticated attacks such as phishing schemes, ransomware and more.
All of these various types of attacks aren’t just getting more serious as time goes on – they’re getting more common, too, and 43% of them target small businesses.
Oftentimes, a lot of business owners don’t realize the devastating financial losses associated with these types of incidents until the damage has already been done. According to one recent study conducted by the experts at IBM, the average cost of a single consolidated data breach hit $3.92 million last year.
Ask yourself – is that the type of cost your business can afford to deal with? If you answered “no,” then please understand that proper IT budgeting is a big, big part of how you avoid it.
Riding the Waves of Evolution and Innovation
Another one of the reasons why proper IT budgeting is so essential has to do with the break-neck pace at which technology continues to advance. Understand that this can either be your biggest advantage or your most significant liability moving forward depending on the choices you make regarding your budgeting.
Today, there are more productivity-boosting tools out there than ever – many of which can help a business like yours gain a genuine competitive edge in the marketplace. Therefore, budgeting for technology upgrades should NOT merely be treated as an “irritating expense” or a “cost of doing business.”
Instead, you need to see it for what it really is: a genuine investment that can actually bring trackable returns via revenue and profit gains in the future.
Uncovering Hidden Costs and Opportunities for Improvement
But finally, one of the most important reasons why IT budgeting is so critical to your firm’s success has to do with the almost unparalleled level of visibility it gives you that you would be hard-pressed to replicate via other means.
When you make an effort to proactively budget for IT, you’re forced to review all the third-party software and licensing costs you’re dealing with – all of which are elements that are common to the popular SaaS subscription model.
There’s a very good chance that some of these costs may have been hidden or overlooked throughout the year. They may not seem like much individually, but taken together they can add up to significant figures if you’re not careful.
While you’re IT budgeting, you’re in an excellent position to consider consolidating and reducing some of these costs by partnering with the right service provider who can potentially offer better pricing than going direct with vendors. You’ll also have an opportunity to look into providers with all-inclusive and flat-rate pricing structures that make IT budgeting more transparent and predictable.
Make 2020 a Fresh Start for Your IT Success
Never forget that as a business leader, you’re making countless important decisions on a daily basis. But unless those decisions are based on actionable intelligence and insightful analysis, you can never be truly confident that you’re making exactly the right move at exactly the right time.
Your IT infrastructure is critical to your firm’s success, which means that your IT budgeting is critical, too. Without the second element, it’s almost impossible to account for the first, and now is the perfect time to set new budget and new goals as we move into 2020 .
So if you’re ready to create the right IT budget to help your business thrive in the new year, terrific – there’s a solid chance that we’ll be able to help. Please contact FelinePC today for your free introductory phone call. It’ll put us in an excellent position to find out if our organizations are a good fit for each other and allow us to to help address all of your IT budgeting needs and more.