The 3 Pillars of the IT Budget

IT spending, now there’s a fascinating topic.  The good news is, IT spending can be a good thing, if you do it right.  You can do more with less, I really do believe that, because I’ve seen it. There are generally three things that drive a business to spend their hard hearned cash on “computers”. 

The first one, everybody does, number two, you really should be doing, and the third separates the masters from the survivors.

1. Fixing Stuff

When things aren’t working, it’s pretty easy to spend money on a solution.  Every business spends money on this without much question.  That said, there are bad and good service models for this, and the very best way, in my opinion, is a flat rate Managed Services approach.  

2. Risk Mitigation

Another one that seems to pull money out of business bank accounts with ease is the scare tactics of Risk.  Scare tactics aside, planning for the unexpected, protecting yourself from the lurking risks of the digital world is more important than ever.  This point is about keeping you up and running, and that’s important to your business staying competitive. You should be spending money on the obvious things like backups, antivirus, perimeter security, etc.. and then there are a whole plethora of other services and products that may or may not be important to your business.  The thing about risk and security is that the closer you get to totally secure, the less usable your technology will be.  So, there’s a balance.  Make sure that you take a structured approach with your IT provider or VCIO/Advisor to determine your needs before buying into the slick marketing(or scare tactics) of the thousands of security services out there.  Also, make sure somebody is managing your security, and again, I’ll plug the Managed Services Approach.

3. Productivity, Efficiency, Automation

I list this one last because it is only really doable once you’ve dealt with the first two.  There’s no point in souping up your rust bucket car with sweet new rims.  Same thing goes for IT, until you fix the foundation, this pinnacle of IT is not attainable.  It also takes some belief and trust in technology before you can muster the motivation to take a shot on spending money to make money.  Chances are, if you haven’t dealt with support (fixing stuff) and risk mitigation, you’re not going to trust technology. 

But when you do, this is where IT spending really means something.  This is the space where IT can supercharge a business, help you grow, give your customers better service for less, increase your communication, connect data sources, eliminate manual work and human error, make work more enjoyable, and the list goes on…