Chances are you’re not looking forward to planning your next IT budget. It’s a time-consuming task that often forces you to take a long, hard look at your expenditures. But budget planning doesn’t need to be a pain—and it can provide an opportunity to show top executives just how valuable IT can be to the company.
A recent survey of IT professionals revealed that 63 percent expect an increase over their 2017 budget, so what to do with the extra funds? We’ve pinpointed 3 areas that CIO’s should be focused on.
- Data Security and Protection
The Equifax security breach, affecting potentially 143 million consumers, was one of the most talked about security breaches of 2017. But from Verizon to Verifone, Uber to eBay, it seemed that no company was safe (IdentityForce recently published an eye-opening overview of the worst-of-the-worst security breaches from last year, which can be viewed here). Because of the unprecedented amounts of security breaches and ransomware outbreaks, many IT professionals expect security to take center stage in 2018—53 percent to be exact, according to a recent Tech Pro Research survey. To ensure the safety of your critical data, it’s best to hire a third-party assessment firm to get an impartial look at your security and systems.
- Moving Away From Capital Expenditures
For many companies, newer IT trends such as cloud computing and the various “as-a-Service” models have shifted IT expenses from Capital Expense (CapEx) to Operating Expense (OpEx). This shift has the ability to provide huge financial gains for some companies. For example, the adoption of a virtual private cloud computing model gives companies the ability to pay only for services they use, much like a utility.
- Becoming a Profit Center
Once viewed as a vital yet expensive cost center, today’s IT departments are finally becoming recognized as a valuable source of profit. “Once [the smartest IT departments] started measuring, many of them realized they were spending 70-80 percent of their IT budgets maintaining existing applications and infrastructure,” writes Jason Hiner of ZDNet. Now with the advent of cloud computing and other IT innovations, CIO’s are able to focus on IT-driven solutions that add value rather than cost to the business.
Planning With a Pro
It’s no longer enough to simply base your IT budget on the previous year’s budget. IT is evolving, and so should your budgeting objectives. Download our free CIO Budget Planning Cheat Sheet to learn more about effective budgeting with Ian Steele, former IT Director for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times.