Technology Pointe Blog

Technology Pointe has been serving the Round Rock area since 2000, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Annual IT Budgeting

Every company, no matter how small, needs to have an annual IT budget. There are the big purchases but also the little things like warranty renewals and maintenance agreements. Here are a few of the things to remember to account for when preparing your annual IT budget:


Every company, no matter how small, needs to have an annual IT budget. There are the big purchases but also the little things like warranty renewals and maintenance agreements. Here are a few of the things to remember to account for when preparing your annual IT budget:

  • Equipment upgrades & maintenance
    • Desktop & laptop upgrades - every 3 years is ideal, oftentimes 4 or 5 years is more realistic. If you are running computers older than 5 years, there is often a major productivity impact on your business.
    • Server upgrades - every 4-5 years is pretty typical. When it is time to upgrade servers, that is a prime time to think about migrating some or all service to the cloud.
    • Wireless upgrades - wifi moves at a rapid pace, with new technologies coming out every few years. If your corporate wifi is more than a few years old, there are significant performance increases to be had with new technology. If your business heavily relies on wifi, you should consider upgrading every 3-5 years.
    • Printers - if you are leasing printers from a printer/copier management company, make sure you know what any pricing increases look like, as well as your contract expiration date. For smaller printers that you are purchasing outright, it is typical to just run them into the ground then replace them when they break.
    • Maintenance & warranties - a few items that should always be kept under warranty are servers, firewalls, switches and your phone system.
  • Contracts - many contracts have a built in provision for annual increases
    • Contract renewals - as part of your budget you should have notes for any contract expirations, especially when a contract automatically renews. For contracts such as your internet service provider, if you can sign a 2 or 3 year agreement, that will let you lock in a lower price. With how rapidly bandwidth costs are decreasing, you do not want to sign anything longer than 3 years, and 2 is often ideal. If a contract does have an autorenew, you can often submit a cancellation notice quickly after signing, that way you do not have to remember down the road, and its guaranteed that their sales team will contact you towards the end to try and get a new contract signed.
    • Internet services - if you are currently out of contract with your internet service, you can often get a speed upgrade at no cost, or a reduction in your rate by signing a new 1, 2 or 3 year contract.
  • Software licensing
    • Microsoft Office - many companies are moving to the monthly subscription model of Office 365, but others still purchase it the traditional way. Either way, Office is a significant investment. If you are purchasing copies outright, many companies will skip every other version (i.e. purchase 2007, skip 2010, purchase 2013, etc.) but you should not use a version any longer than that.
    • Maintenance and support agreements - many software packages require you to pay an annual fee for support and sometimes upgrades. This typically ranges from 10-30% of the original purchase price.
    • Upgrades - some software packages such as Quickbooks require you to purchase each new version (although often at a discount) if you want to upgrade.
  • Cloud Services
    • Although they may not be directly billed to IT, cloud services such as Salesforce and Creative Cloud often end up being managed by IT. We always add these type of things to the IT budget since IT has a good grasp on how the cost may change as your business does.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Staff training - if you are deploying any new technologies, you may need to purchase staff training. Typically the more complex software is, the more likely you should consider investing in formalized training.
    • Office moves - the technology part of a move can be a significant investment. If you know that your business is moving this year, start budgeting for the IT component now. You may not know exactly what you will need, but there are always servers and computers to move and reinstall.

 

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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