How to Build an IT Budget: 5 Ways an MSP Can Help Manage the Process
Technology is evolving at a pace that many small business leaders find impossible to keep up with. New cyberthreats emerge every day, taking advantage of outdated technology and the latest emerging innovations alike. When creating an information technology budget sample to present to the boardroom, you need to take into account both the risks and opportunities, and strive to align your budget and strategy with your company’s goals.
An IT managed services provider (MSP) provides an outsourced solution whereby companies can enlist the help of a team of professionals to manage their IT maintenance and support. These services typically follow a subscription model, where things like service availability and support ticket response times are guaranteed by a service level agreement (SLA). The clear alternative to having a fully-staffed in-house IT department, an MSP can help in many important ways.
What to consider when building an IT budget?
An information technology budget sample should incorporate both internal and outsourced IT assets and services, such as in-house hardware, software licenses, and services like cloud computing and managed backup and disaster recovery. Precisely what your budget should include depends on many factors, such as your company’s goals and priorities, industry, and available funds. As for which services you outsource, this depends on the capabilities of your in-house IT team, if you have one. MSPs can either serve as a fully outsourced IT department, or augment the capabilities of an existing team.
Related article: Why You Should Budget to Work with a Managed Services Provider
#1. Increase focus on mission-critical operations
As your business grows, so will your need for dependable technology solutions that can scale with demand. But this also brings an increased burden on IT management, which can end up resulting in employees spending a lot of time on things outside their core responsibilities and competencies.
Working with an MSP will help you create a more cost-efficient budget by letting you outsource the tasks which your internal team isn’t best equipped to deal with. This frees up valuable time for employees to focus on what they do best – helping you grow your business.
#2. Innovate faster, without adding risk
A limited IT budget can end up being a barrier to innovation, especially if you’re trying to take care of everything in house. All the while, the threat of more agile competitors usurping your market position increases. Small businesses need the same level of IT adaptability, efficiency, and security as that of large enterprises, but these can’t usually be addressed alone.
An MSP can provide scalable, cutting-edge technology on demand to help grow your business and reduce the risk of missing out on lucrative new opportunities. After all, innovation is what they do, and they can provide a tailored plan that aligns with your goals and budgets.
#3. Empower remote workforces with cloud services
Keeping tabs on remote workers isn’t getting any easier, especially now that companies face increasing pressure to let their employees work from home. With a wider variety of employee- and business-owned devices connecting to the corporate network, it is harder than ever for administrators to ensure security and keep the burdens of management and cost control under check.
A dependable MSP should be able to assist you in your migration to the cloud so you can take advantage of the era of remote work without adding unnecessary risk or complexity. Every IT budget should incorporate the costs associated with remote work. However, don’t forget that remote work is also a huge cost-saving opportunity in its own right.
#4. Keep costly downtime to a minimum
It’s important to consider IT budgeting as an investment rather than a cost center alone. After all, if a critical IT system fails, it could end up costing many times more than what it might to invest in a dependable maintenance and remediation regime. That’s why one of the key goals of your IT budget planning should be to keep downtime and consequent business disruption to a minimum.
MSPs guarantee a minimum level of service availability, as well as a maximum response time to support queries, in their SLAs. As such, incorporating managed services in your budget can significantly reduce the risk of unexpected, and often unquantifiable, expenses.
#5. Turn capital expenses into a predictable operating costs
Traditionally, IT budgeting revolved around allocating funds for priority projects, most of which involved capital expenses that were often hard to predict. For example, the break/fix support model is notoriously hard to budget for, since there’s simply no way of telling how much you’ll need for repairs until a problem occurs.
A partnership with an MSP turns these capital expenses and unpredictable repair bills into a predictable operational expense whereby you pay only for the resources you actually need. This makes it far easier to maintain control over your technology expenses, while also cutting both short- and long-term costs.
Charles IT provides unlimited support and managed IT services for Connecticut businesses to help them transform their IT from an unpredictable cost center into an invaluable investment. Contact us to schedule a call!