Time is money - How to plan your IT budget

The fourth and thus last quarter of 2020 has been reached - for most companies this means reflecting on the business to date and planning budgets for the coming year. Large companies manage their budgets, whether in IT or other areas, professionally and on a long-term basis.

Smaller companies and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, usually act spontaneously and there is a few to no transparency about their IT expenditures only. However, buying hardware, software and staff without a plan can be quite expensive. That's why we have put together some tips on how to plan your IT budget sensibly.


Determine the current status quo

Before going into budget planning for the new year, management and IT should be clear about what exactly is needed. The following questions should be clarified to avoid dissatisfaction and unnecessary costs:

1. Which hardware and software is currently used and what are the costs?

2. How long are hardware and software used?

3. How long have servers, PCs and notebooks been in use?

4. How often does software have to be renewed due to releases?

5. Are there clearly defined and documented workflows?

Once these questions have been clarified, it becomes clear what already exists, what needs to be replaced and what needs to be bought new.


Replace software and hardware

Often the working conditions change, to which hardware and software providers also react, of course. In the wake of the Corona pandemic, the demand for messaging and video conferencing tools has increased significantly. Microsoft Teams, for example, have considerably expanded their functionality. The events sector has also shifted from classic on-site trade fairs to virtual transmission via streaming services or online conference providers.

For companies this means enormous changes in budget and time planning. Employees, for example from sales, no longer have to travel to faraway trade fairs, but take part in events directly from their desks. This reduces the budget for travel and marketing material costs. On the other hand, there are more costs involved in organizing your own virtual events: the purchase of suitable software and the necessary technical equipment becomes unavoidable.

Central hardware such as CPUs, chipsets or operating systems sometimes have to be replaced annually. However, servers, PCs and notebooks have a longer service life. Replacement is generally not necessary more often than every five years. It is also easy on the budget to bundle purchases in order to obtain quantity discounts from suppliers and manufacturers.

If hardware is purchased in bundles, not only are costs and effort saved, but work processes are also standardized. The list and measures of software and hardware that needs to be replaced or extended varies from company to company and should definitely be considered in advance in IT budget planning.


Standardizing processes

The standardization of end devices and processes can lead to immense cost savings. For example, if the IT department uses the same software and hardware, this makes the workload easier and saves costs, since lengthy support efforts are kept within limits. For instance, it should be decided which operating program is used on PCs and notebooks - whether Windows, Android or MacOS. The same applies to hardware products such as computers, telephones and monitors or televisions. A standardized work process is also budget-friendly. How do the IT requests from employees reach the company, by email, ticket or personal contact? How does IT prioritize its tasks and when are they implemented? All this has an impact on the IT budget. If processes are outsourced to service providers, standardization is also a great advantage.

So the use of low-code technology in the standardization of processes simplifies everyday work. Low-code applications digitalize complex, manually created processes. This refers especially to the acquisition, processing and storage of data. Compared to conventional software, low-code applications are developed individually and faster, which results in enormous cost savings.



SQPI Squirrel

Scopeland Technology GmbH

 +49 30 209 670 - 131