Building a budget tends to turn into one of those things that is an on-going year round project.
With an increasing demand that everything becomes digital, it’s no wonder that more than a third of respondents said they plan to increase investment in IT in the next 12 months – a much higher figure than for other business functions, including marketing and PR (25%), HR (17%), finance (16%) and administration (14%).
Businesses can make a critical error when they allocate their budget to the wrong place or use it on an adhoc basis.
As part of our IT DIY campaign, we looked into where IT budgets were heading and what is the best spend for each company.
Although PC sales have been on a constant decline for a while now,* most SMEs know that good hardware is the backbone of the business. We predict that decent hardware will be the chief IT priority with the bulk of the budget going to desktops, servers and laptops.
That is not forgetting about smartphones, tablets and other devices that make working remotely much easier. Although there is still a large amount going into BYOD, companies are starting to prepare themselves for having their own hardware and all the problems that come with BYOD.
It has long been established that companies would struggle without IT, now SMEs are finally ready to go all out with their software initiatives. Security is still at the bottom of the budget with software to help assist with productivity, virtualisation and software to assist changing websites to mobile and tablet friendly being at the top of the budget.
Last year will be remembered for the variety of high-profile security violations. So increasing spending on intrusion prevention, malware protection and other security technologies is never a bad idea.
SMEs have a lot to gain from the flexibility, scalability and agility of cloud computing, this is why it will be important to all IT budgets. Amongst all the different services cloud computing has to offer, email hosting and web hosting are probably the most important aspects.
Solving IT problems are always a big part of the budget and effect the full company, therefore some budget should be going on making sure that the most common problems can be fixed as quickly as possible (see our DIY IT post). Budget should also be used to ensure that companies have the fastest and most reliable internet connection possible and hosting, storage/backup services.
By incorporating just some of these into your IT budget, you will not only save money in the long run but it will improve productivity and ensure that your IT equipment is reliable and up-to-date. By taking this blog post on board along with our other IT DIY posts (see bad habits and common problems) you could revolutionise your IT spending.