September 14, 2023

8 Ways to Stretch Your IT Budget in 2024

If you had an unlimited budget, you could do anything you wanted with your IT department. But most businesses don’t have an unlimited IT budget; in fact, most of them try to operate as lean as possible, keeping the IT budget to a minimum.

What steps can you take to stretch your IT budget in 2024 and beyond?

The Value of IT Budgeting

Even if you don’t have limited funds, it’s wise to stretch your IT budget as far as it can go. Conscious budgeting is a matter of not just reducing costs, but making sure that the money you spend is spent as efficiently as possible. This means every dollar you invest in your IT department is going to result in a meaningful return for your business, and that you won’t spend any money unnecessarily.

The economics of IT are becoming more important as we head into 2024 and beyond. Inflation and economic issues are presenting companies with challenges; there’s more competition than ever before, and obviously, you can’t simply abandon your technology needs. The solution is to carefully control and intelligently plan your technology spending.

How to Stretch Your IT Budget

These are some of the most effective strategies for stretching your IT budget in 2024 and beyond:

1. Use third-party hardware maintenance services. Third-party maintenance for Cisco devices and other types of third-party maintenance services are excellent uses of your money. Many businesses are reluctant to hire third parties because they see them as an additional expense and a potential liability, but in most cases, this is a much smarter investment than building out a bigger team of full-time employees. Third-party maintenance generally gives you access to more resources and more experienced experts who can guide you on planning and strategy – and it’s usually much less expensive than hiring and training new employees (especially if you have high turnover). The secret is to find a partner with all the services you need whom you can genuinely trust.

2. Identify areas of waste (and eliminate them). Next, take a full inventory of your current IT assets, maximize observability, and attempt to identify areas of waste. Are there any elements of your IT infrastructure that are redundant, unnecessary, or disproportionately burdensome in terms of complexity? Are there any services or vendor contracts you’re not seeing full value from? Once you find these areas of waste, you can work to eliminate them, thus saving money without interfering with your daily operations.

3. Get extended warranties. Warranties protect your hardware investments, allowing you to utilize the services of original manufacturers to maintain, repair, or replace your equipment as necessary. But when those warranties expire, you’ll be entirely on your own. That’s why it’s often a good idea to purchase extended warranties for your most vital equipment. This is going to increase your expenses in the short term but drastically reduce your expenses in the long term.

4. Replace devices wisely. Electronics generally last for 1.5 to 13 years, which is a remarkably wide range. The sad truth is that electronics are somewhat unpredictable, and they could fail at literally any moment. Accordingly, you should have a plan to replace your devices wisely; proactively replacing devices before they fail can help you mitigate issues, but if you do this too proactively, it could increase your expenses unnecessarily.

5. Buy refurbished/remanufactured. Whenever possible, buy refurbished or remanufactured equipment rather than buying new. For most businesses, there’s no point in buying the latest and greatest technology because it’s not going to offer unprecedented advantages over the previous generation, but it’s going to be much more expensive.

6. Recycle old equipment. When it comes time to dispose of your old equipment, consider recycling it. This can be done in a secure way that protects your data, and it can help you recoup some of your costs. In some cases, it may make sense to resell your equipment instead.

7. Employ automation. Automation in IT is a remarkable tool for improving consistency and reducing costs. You’re essentially going to be eliminating manual effort, freeing up time for your IT team members, and preserving your most important processes and services.

8. Increase visibility and proactive monitoring. Finally, increase visibility and proactive monitoring. The faster you can detect and respond to issues, the more you can keep costs down.

Stretching your IT budget doesn’t mean cheaping out on essential services, nor does it mean resorting to inferior quality products or putting your company at risk. Instead, it’s about maximizing the value of every dollar you spend in IT, thus reducing your spending while maintaining or even improving the technology infrastructure of your business.

With expert partners and practical due diligence, you should have no trouble overcoming whatever financial and productive challenges you face in the coming years.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}