With the calendar year coming to a close, the fiscal year for many businesses will soon end as well. If you have money left in your IT department budget, it's time to use it before you lose it. Looking for productive and useful ways to invest your remaining funds? Here are a few ideas about how you can re-allocate your leftover IT budget and get the most bang for your buck.
1. IT Consulting
The word “consulting” makes lots of businesses nervous. In part, it seems like a big investment for little return in productivity. However, seasoned IT consultants can be one of your best resources, especially when it's crunch time. Consultants bring with them a wealth of experience—from businesses both similar and different to your own—and can help further your team's effectiveness and efficiency. Contract IT workers can help expedite or complete lagging projects, or help take the pressure off your internal team so they can attend to more urgent tasks.
2. Software Upgrades
Admit it: Software upgrades are a pain. Many upper management team members think they can simply ignore the task—and the expense—and things will continue to run just fine. But if you want to maintain an effective, competitive business, it's essential to regularly upgrade your devices and systems. By using your leftover budget to pay for the upgrade, you'll stay on the accounting department's nice list and make your team members happy.
Security is perhaps the biggest challenge for businesses, regardless of industry. All it takes is one bug, one malware, or one hacker to seriously cripple a business. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to properly invest in digital security (despite your constant requests.) By using your leftover budget to update and optimize your security software, you can better ensure the security of your network for the new year.
4. Training & Development
Consider investing your leftover budget in your greatest resource: Your team. These individuals are the lifeblood of your business, and investing in your employees is a great way to ensure their ongoing effectiveness long-term. Not to mention, allocating funds to employees' continuous learning may also make them feel more needed and appreciated.
5. Maintenance Contracts
Technological and mechanical breakdowns make for costly headaches—and considerable downtime. Rather than crossing your fingers and “hoping that nothing breaks,” allocate some of your leftover budget to a reliable IT maintenance program. Place your computers, scanners, printers, and other devices on a maintenance contract with a proven IT vendor. After all, you have enough to think about without the added worry of device breakdowns and repairs.
While it's easy to think about hardware as “out of sight, out of mind," it's quite important to systematically cycle through hardware. Older equipment can directly affect system efficiencies, as well as your employees’ ability to do their jobs effectively. By upgrading hardware with leftover funds, you can boost productivity and morale for the new year. You can also set a resolution to make a lifecycle replacement plan to ensure efficient use of your budget year after year.
Think Of Leftover Budget As Your Friend
Leftover money in your IT budget is a blessing, so use it wisely: Take on some of those long-forgotten initiatives and boost employee morale. If you need help deciding, contact one of our expert IT technologists today about IT project management. It might just help your team’s productivity in ways you never expected.