Many IT Service and Support organizations use a budgeting model that scrutinizes each dollar spent every year. This is called zero-base budgeting. Each year departments start from scratch, building budgets based on the spend from the previous year. With a fresh start and justification of each expense, IT Service and Support ensures that inappropriate costs are not built into the future. There are important items that will come up with each IT service and support budget that will need justification each new budgeting period. If money is going to be allocated, the service desk should know the desired outcome and benefit to the business. IT lives and breathes hardware, software and headcount. Justifying these expenses should be simple. At least that’s the hope.
Hardware. A large majority of Samanage customers are reporting increases in hardware spend for 2016 due to company growth, new projects and replacement needs. Hardware can require a significant expenditure (i.e. network servers, desktops/laptops/tablets, printers, screens/projectors, and mobile devices). Before budgeting, it’s important to understand the business goals and forecasts for the upcoming year instead of relying on what was done the previous year. As a simple example, if the organization is moving to a BYOD strategy, IT Service and Support needs to make the necessary increases/decreases to the annual hardware spend based on the disposal or recycling process of old equipment.
Software/Licenses. Whether the Service Desk needs a new ticketing solution or Marketing requires new Adobe suite licenses, the costs and tracking of these licenses can be expensive and time-consuming. An automated asset management tool in place can make an enormous difference by creating an up-to-date inventory list of every piece of software and its licensing significantly easier to find. If you are forced to use manual tracking as the only option, it’s critical to ensure the license data is accurate so that IT Service and Support can remain in compliance and stay on top of licenses that are expected to expire without any surprises. Continuously tracking software licenses throughout the year, and knowing where they are in their lifecycle, stands to save the service desk boatloads of time and money, while also avoiding painful and potentially embarrassing audits – all important factors in an annual budget.
Payroll/New Hires. Samanage customers reported growth in 2015 leading to 2016 hires. Determining if IT Service and Support is growing, frozen, outsourcing, or losing staff is possibly the largest line item on any annual budget. No matter what happened last year, new hires and new processes can greatly affect and sway the numbers. When an organization experiences costs that are higher than industry averages, many times that can be attributed to headcount issues. Technician salaries and benefits make up more than 60% of all costs for the average desktop support group, making their productivity the biggest lever to pull in controlling costs.
About Danielle Livy
Danielle is the Senior Director, Marketing, ITSM at SolarWinds. She has wide-ranging experience in content production, social media marketing, public relations, and brand messaging. Her happy place is sitting by the lake with a cold beverage in hand, with the occasional water ski session.
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