|| Technology Budgeting: Better Fiscal Planning Can Lead to
Most organizations use computers for similar purposes. We all write
letters and send e-mail. Many of us crunch numbers, while some design
graphics, and still others use the computers to retrieve contact
information and send out mailings.
Your organization may differ a little in how you use computers. However,
your technology budget planning probably should have a lot in common
with almost every other organization that sets aside part of its annual
budget for computer expenses.
Many organizations make the mistake of putting down only a single,
seemingly all-inclusive line item, such as "Computers". Others factor in
anything computer-related to the "Office Equipment" line item. We have
found that people who budget in this manner tend not to take into
account all the "little things" that may come up in the course of a
fiscal year. When there is an unanticipated problem, and there's no room
in the budget to fix the problem, things get messy.
To most accurately project your most likely and most common expenses you
should consider at least each of the following in your budgets/fiscal
All these should be factored into your budget to ensure that your
organization's projections are as accurate as possible.
- Computers: This includes not only the actual PCs used by
individuals, but also computer-related peripherals, such as printers,
scanners, handheld devices, and cameras.
- Software: You many need new versions of existing products, or
discover options that are new to your organization. Or perhaps you need
assistance just "getting legal" by licensing, registering and updating
software products you may already be using.
- Upgrades: PCs that have been in use for less than 2 years,
but which may need a little extra horsepower to continue performing as
needed, may benefit from hardware upgrades.
- Services: Sometimes this category is too general. Typically
it involves Internet access: does your existing internet access meet
your needs? Will you be upgrading? If you are opening a second office,
you may want to consider T-1 lines. T-1s can allow phone lines in 2
offices to seamlessly connect to each other, depending on how the phone
system is set up.
- Network services: Are you going to be getting fast internet
access? Will you be sharing it with anyone? Perhaps another business or
individual who works with you or near you? If so, you may be looking
toward your first network. Will you be adding employees? Usually a new
employee needs more than just a new computer. They need software. They
need to "plug in" to the office network. They need an e-mail address, a
user name and a password. Sometimes this involves sending in the IT
Person, and sometimes internal staff can handle such setups. In either
event, there is some budget expense involved.
- Security: Has anyone done a security audit of your
organization? Are you doing all you should to protect your organization
from those who would do it harm?
- Disaster Recovery, Planning and Maintenance: Are you keeping
track of all the software you own? Do you have a complete archive of all
the CDs you would need to get back up and running if all was lost? Do
you have product installation codes available somewhere outside the
- Training: Are you using everything you have optimally? If
not, is your productivity being hindered as a result? Are you incurring
expenses by spending too much time on simple tasks? Perhaps by having
one of our people spend time with your staff, your organization can
perform some tasks more quickly, thus saving money.
- General systems consulting: Depending on the number of people
and/or computers in your office, your organization may wish to consider
a service agreement with us. Although we are pleased to serve on an "as
needed" basis, we have found that a service agreement allows small
organizations to more accurately project a systems budget. Additionally,
the service agreement offers a significant discount on
would be happy to meet with you to discuss longer term technology
planning, and how you can better budget for it in the coming year. Contact us
for more information.