webmasterDecember 4, 2018December 4, 2018Three Key Questions to Answer for Technology Budgeting This is the time most budgets for next year are being finalized. If you are still trying to get yours approved, or haven’t even started the process, you aren’t alone. The good news is technology budgets are increasing 1-10% in 2019 over 2018, according to Tech Pro Research. This financial plan should include ongoing and project expenses. It’s important to review every six months to a year to ensure your corporate strategy is aligned with your technology initiatives. If you have short-term needs for a project, set a start and end date. For example, if you run an accounting firm, you may need additional computer rentals and staffing from February 1 to April 30. Inventory Before you get started, look at the following expenses: Staff Consultants and Vendors Training Servers Computers, including laptops and tablets Network, including router and Wi-Fi Software licenses and subscriptions Projects – which may or may not include the items listed here Based on this analysis, you should be able to identify older hardware that the current operating system does not support. Or software licenses that no longer provide you with the functionality your company needs. Justify the Expenses There are four major reasons you change out or add technology: The product or service is outdated The software isn’t scalable You have many short-term projects and/or Your company is adding people Definitely tie back all requests to one or more of these parameters when talking to management. In addition, if you have multiple departments, make sure the spending requests are similar for each department. Top Priorities Again, according to data gathered from Tech Pro Research, here are the top 2019 technology priorities for small to mid-sized companies: Cybersecurity Additional hardware Cloud services Software upgrades Training Hiring Given this information, here the three questions you and your staff need to answer. Is Your Technology Acquisition Strategy Proactive or Reactive? How do you stack up next to the competition? Or are you still using ten-year-old computers that break down on a regular basis? If you are in a marketplace with a lot of competition, study them to find out what they’re using. Remember, technology acquisition can come in many forms: short-term rentals, long-term leases or outright purchases. If you aren’t sure what you need, set up a learning lounge where individuals can try different systems to identify which system works best in their environment. What Kind of Growth are You Expecting? The more people you add to your company, the more technology you’ll need. This may also include printers and copiers. Don’t let the lack of technology be an inhibitor in your business. Does Your Budget Include Risk? Do you have a plan to address ransomware or data breaches? What about business continuity services if your employees can’t get to the office? You need a plan to address security and continuity as clients expect it in today’s mobile, cloud-based world. Need Help with Technology Rentals? Hartford Technology Rental staff are a great resource for you throughout your annual planning process. We’d love to help make sure your 2019 technology budget is in tip-top shape. Contact us today to schedule a free phone consultation!