Budgeting: there’s a word few people love the sound of! But for small and medium businesses, budgeting for your IT support is a crucial step to getting the right support at the right price to meet your unique business requirements. Customisation is key!
Why should I budget for IT support?
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that business technology is a necessary evil – a set of items and services that you need to ‘shell out for’. At Geelong Technology Group we urge you to turn that thinking on its head. Technology is an investment in the operation of your business; supporting your company’s goals, helping to exceed your customers’ expectations and enhancing your ability to respond to changing business environments. Spending wisely on tech and IT support is prudent finance.
What should my IT support budget include?
IT is an integral part of nearly all businesses, and beyond the hardware required for your business (computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, for example), IT support may extend to VoiP communication systems (link here to Oct Blog #2), network servers, cloud storage, cyber security, data back-up, software and more. It’s a long list, and not all of it may be relevant to your situation, so first steps in the budgeting process involve assessing what you do and do not need.
What level of support do I need?
If your business doesn’t already have an IT strategy, using the budgeting period to craft one is an easy way to conquer two tasks with one planning session. Look closely at all aspects of your business and nut out what support you need and how that will allow your business to grow and thrive (and survive any knock-backs). Many businesses think they can take a less-is-more approach to IT support and still operate effectively. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, and may set up SMBs for problems down the track when their IT infrastructure falters or fails at a crucial juncture.
It’s a good idea to approach your IT support in the form of a health appraisal; think about keeping your business in tip-top shape with a proactive day-to-day plan, while also anticipating possible expenses for unexpected issues or changes that may arise. Evaluating your needs will allow you to firm up your IT requirements for both your current situation and for future scalability – giving your chosen managed services provider (MSP) the clearest information to recommend and price an IT support strategy.
How much should my IT support cost?
Unfortunately (and fortunately!) there is no ‘one size fits all’ model when it comes to IT support expenses. Pricing will be dependent on your business activities, size, set-up and the amount of support required, with recent research indicating that IT budgets as a percentage of revenue range from around 2% up to 8%, with the average, depending on business type, around 3% to 4%.
The good news for smaller businesses is that outsourced IT support is often a lot cheaper than employing staff onsite – and it can deliver a wide range of technical expertise. Managed IT services through an MSP can also be tailored to your needs at any given time, allowing for scalability up or down should circumstances require.
Speak to Geelong’s remote support specialists
Truly the only hard and fast rule about tech support budgeting is that there is no hard and fast rule – it comes down to what your business needs. So just to reiterate – customisation is key.
At Geelong Technology Group we work with numerous businesses of different sizes and across different sectors, tailoring their IT support to meet their unique requirements. If you’re seeking transformational results that consistently make better use of your IT budget, take a moment to get in contact with Geelong’s IT professionals today. 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484)