IBM suggests that $3.86 million is the average cost of a data breach. Even a small business could face a significant cost if you fail to invest appropriately in cybersecurity.
Your business relies on technology every day for support and success. Here are 5 reasons you need to create an IT budget for 2019 – and how to do it!
What is an IT Budget?
You might think that it’s unnecessary to answer this question. Isn’t it obvious? The problem with many IT budgets in small businesses is that they are an amorphous total amount of money allocated for IT.
This kind of budgeting betrays a poor budgeting process. The result is poor planning, lack of accountability and a disregard for the importance of getting a return on the investment. Being clear about why you need a budget will help you to create an IT budget template.
1. Invest for Competitive Advantage
IT is a potential source of competitive advantage. Those businesses that know this focus their budget planning on achieving it. Spend some time during the budget planning process considering where you hope to achieve a competitive advantage and how IT will support this.
Any careful risk assessment for your business must recognize the threat of a breach of cybersecurity. This means mitigating the risk with appropriate countermeasures. If you are unable to complete a cybersecurity audit with your in-house team, the least you should budget for is expert help.
3. Focus on Your Core Business
Managing your IT hardware and software, data storage, telephony, and other technology can be a distraction for many small businesses. The important thing for these businesses is to focus on the core business. That means sales, marketing, operations, and people.
IT can be a valuable enabler but also a distraction for managers of a small business. It’s difficult to keep up. For many small businesses, it makes sense to outsource IT support.
Engaging a managed IT solutions partner can allow you to leverage IT without having to become an IT expert. The IT budget can then reduce capital costs if hardware, software and data storage become revenue costs. Plan for them as part of your IT budget.
4. Control Costs
What small business isn’t interested in controlling costs. Having an IT budget is one way of doing this but only if you do it right.
Detailed budgets with clear allocation of budget for specific items make scrutiny of the costs easier. If you need to make savings, it’s clear what will be the implications.
5. Plan for Success
Budgeting is a rationing process. You have limited funds to spend on IT so you need to make the choices that will get the best return. Ask yourself two important questions.
What do we have to do to protect the business from its greatest risks? What do we need to do to achieve business success? These two questions should drive decisions about the IT budget you need.
Without the appropriate, IT spend you may be putting your business success at risk and perhaps putting your business survival at risk too.
How Do You Create an IT Budget?
Get control of spending by centralizing the budget. Set goals for the IT spending that align with your business goals. Establish rules for who can spend the budget and how.
Get down the detail so it’s clear what the IT budget is to be spent on. Have categories such as hardware, software, managed services, consultancy, and cybersecurity. There should be a business case for all spending and a clear return on investment.
Contact IT professionals who can help.