As we head towards the fourth quarter, budgets are top of mind, especially in the tech forward state of California. Technology innovation continues to evolve, and as you set growth goals for 2018, it’s imperative to adjust your IT budget accordingly.

IT budgets are expected to grow 4.5% this year, Morgan Stanley said in its report, “CIO Survey: 2017 IT Budgets Improve on US Strength.” The top spending priorities include cloud computing, security software, analytics tools, networking equipment and ERP and CRM applications.

How can you accurately forecast without overestimating? What percentage should go towards maintenance versus innovation? If you’re feeling overwhelmed as budget deadlines approach, you’re not alone.

Here are 10 IT budgeting tips to help simplify the process:

  1. Conduct an in-depth review of what’s coming up for renewal – Warranties and software licenses always have a renewal date. It’s important to determine what is coming up for renewal and budget accordingly.
  2. Analyze equipment that is headed towards end of life – Reviewing equipment that has passed its warranty period or needs to be scheduled for replacement is a potential large expense that cannot be overlooked.
  3. Plan for supplemental equipment or software that is essential for new projects – Project planning may take center stage, but new equipment or software may be needed to make the project successful. Supplementing what is currently in-house should be addressed.
  4. Make a list of future accomplishments – What is your company looking to accomplish in the next fiscal year? Adding a managed service provider or outsourcing certain IT functions may be a necessary expense to budget for.
  5. Schedule a business review with your IT partner – You can’t possibly know how to move forward if you aren’t sure where you’ve been. The third quarter is the perfect time to conduct a business review with your IT team or consultant.
  6. Take the time to really address company-wide IT needs – Whether it’s the leadership team, the sales team or employees in the field, gather input that will help determine gaps in products or service.
  7. Budget for security audits – Disaster recovery efforts are typical budget expenses, but security audits at regular intervals should also be just as important to incorporate.
  8. Include line items for an annual network assessment – Network assessments are now considered an IT best practice and a proactive way to prevent minor problems before they become larger issues.
  9. Align your IT budget with your strategic growth plans – Not planning with enough vision can result in over-spending to remain productive.
  10. Be flexible – Unforeseen circumstances, mid-year projects and new hires can always arise. While it’s important to be accurate, it’s equally as important to remember that the budget is a work in progress.

How much time will you spend trying to piece together the budgeting puzzle? The DiamondIT team can help simplify the process with automated reports, multiple vendor management and ROI calculators. Read about our professional solutions here, email us directly or call us at 877-716-8324.