Budgeting for Technology Expenses
Hi there, my name is Ada and I am the Vice President and General Manager here at Idealogical Systems.
Today I would like to take a few minutes to discuss why it’s critical for a business like yours to ensure that you budget adequately and regularly for your technology expenses.
On an average day, the office worker may spend about 6 and half hours in front of their PC, their laptop, their tablet or their smartphone and in many cases all of the above. It’s becoming increasingly mainstream now for workers to come to your organization with the expectation that you will be providing sound infrastructure that is both reliable and accessible at all times. Having reliable IT that’s up, maintained and supported is now an expectation that’s about as normal as it is for you to expect your critical employees to show up to work and perform their duties.
We’re now seeing customers leverage their IT systems in their employee recruitment and retainment processes and we’re also seeing the enormous traction that BYOD or “bring your own device” is starting to gain. And for those of us who work in HR and recruitment we’re also seeing an expectation from the younger generation of job applicants that effective IT is no longer a luxury but it’s an expected standard as they choose their employers.
Of course, none of this is free, and the discussion naturally turns to how we can make this very complex system and decision-making process work for your business. And not just today, but for tomorrow, the next year, and maybe even 5 years from now. We meet lots of new customers who come to Idealogical with little or no conception of what a properly built IT structure would cost, and what it would cost to maintain that system over the life of the infrastructure, which is typically about 4 years.
Now, as we onboard our new clients we not only discuss and prepare them for the cost of building out whatever infrastructure they might require, but we also spend a significant amount of time discussing what their business’s plan looks like, what their growth plan looks like, and what the cost of maintaining that system would be so that they can get the best value out of their IT spend and make that spend into a real, palpable ROI.
The notion that once it is built that infrastructure should just work and keep working and keep working is just simply wrong; businesses have complex systems such as ERPs, accounting packages, time tracking applications and many industry-specific pieces of software that need to work nicely together on the Windows platform. They need to integrate with email systems, Microsoft Office or mobility applications.
What they don’t tell you on the fine print is that there is always someone that keeps these systems working together and they rarely work together continuously year after year if it’s left alone and unmaintained.
There’s a real cost to your business to ensure that all these disparate systems work nicely. And it will cost your employees valuable time if your organization chooses to maintain the systems internally or it can cost you money if your organization chooses to outsource the maintenance, or in some cases both. But whatever route you choose to go, your infrastructure needs to be top of mind when you consider operational efficiency, because based on our experience regardless of whether you choose to capitalize this investment or make it a regular monthly item on your PNL it’s a necessary spend and it’s mission critical for today’s business.
Beyond just ensuring uptime your employees want to know that your systems will help them succeed and that it will enable them to get work done regardless of whether they are in the office or not. And for your part as an employer in providing a system that’s agile, you also need to ensure that flexibility and agility doesn’t compromise the security of your data in the age of mobility. Budgeting wisely and basing the budget on a technology plan that takes into account your growth plan is key.
Now regardless of whether you have internal IT operations or your IT operations are outsourced the bottom line is that success is often tied to leveraging skilled and educated professionals to look after your company’s IT needs. Being prepared and spending according to plan year after year as your business grows will make your IT decisions less painful, more predictable and with fewer surprizes. Those of us, myself included, who spend their days in business operations know that surprizes are not welcome and predictability and effective forecasting is.
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