Planning Your IT Budget
So it’s the end of the fiscal year and it’s time to start the exciting process of planning your IT budget for the coming year. This task can be extremely difficult to forecast, especially with the ever-changing world of Information Technology. To help ease this burden, here are some categorized tips and tricks to consider when planning for your pending fiscal year
Additional Hardware and Software
Growth is exciting! However each time you onboard a new user, you will have additional hardware and software licensing costs. Financial planners should have an upfront (primarily hardware) and ongoing (primarily software) budget per employee for IT expenses. Software licenses are notoriously difficult to keep in order as the number of users change continuously. Kinetix has a process to increase and decrease license allocations as users are onboarded and offboarded to help solve this problem. However some services require you to purchase licenses by negotiating an annual agreement or by purchasing in bulk. It’s important to consider your projected growth when negotiating longer term software agreements.
As your business grows, you will need more IT support for your users. For Kinetix clients, this is made easy with a variable support model that matches the size of your business. No need to hire another full-time IT team member or add on additional services. For teams who have grown into needing a more hands on IT presence, Kinetix also offers regular in-person onsite visits.
The more users you have connected to your network, the more bandwidth is needed to provide a reliable connection for your users. You’ll also want to factor in the number of connected devices that your firewalls and access points can safely handle before taking a performance hit. We recommend at least 1 Mbps for each regular office user for most regular uses. Planing a big growth surge or office expansion? The Kinetix project team can help you assess your current network infrastructure and if needed, handle an upgrade on your behalf with all involved parties.
Keeping up with Modern Technology
Companies are constantly pushing out security patches and/or new versions of their product to prevent security vulnerabilities and retain functionality with modern hardware. As a part of our alert service, Kinetix will keep you aware of upgrades for the major services that you use as soon as they are announced by the vendor.
Modern computers have a useful life of 3-5 years, depending on usage, so it’s important to not be surprised by needing to replace computers for employees in order to keep their productivity high. We recommend having a workstation replacement policy and budgeting accordingly. For Kinetix clients, we can provide a list of current workstations with their original ship dates so you can predict the number of workstations that will need to be replaced each year.
There is always going to be a never-ending supply of new software tools intended to boost boost employee productivity and security. Each carries its own costs, typically on a per-user basis, and it can be a major headache to sort through all of the marketing noise and find tools that actually deliver return on investment. We recommend leaving buffer in your budget for additional software tools that can be added through the year. At Kinetix, your Client Success Manager can help you with strategic decisions about software based on our experiences with that software at other clients.
Your user base is your first line of defense when it comes to IT Security. It’s important to have an ongoing training program for existing and incoming users to ensure they are educated with the latest security best practices to prevent security breaches. There are a number of low-cost options in the market and we recommend KnowBe4, which is included in the Kinetix service.
Emergency Hardware Replacement
Even well-maintained, top-of-the-line equipment sometimes fails. It is important to have a plan and budget in case a crucial part of your infrastructure went down. You should identify the mission-critical parts of your IT system and have redundancy, or at least a backup plan, for each. Kinetix clients can work with their Client Success Manager to draft a tailored Business Continuity Plan that addresses emergency failures.
Warranties and Support Contracts
IT teams do their best to resolve issues as efficiently as possible, but sometimes hardware fails or software bugs need to be escalated to the vendor in question. More often than not, the respective vendor charges a regular warranty or support fee to provide these critical services and these should be accounted for in your budget.
Secondary Data Pipe
In today’s world, businesses rely on internet connectivity as a critical part of their office infrastructure and any downtime is expensive since everyone is not productive during this time. Thus, it is often cost-effective to have a secondary internet circuit in the event of an inevitable failure by your primary provider. The Kinetix project team can provide pricing options and help decide what secondary circuit to install and, if you decide to add this backup, handle all coordination with the Internet Service Provider.
When disaster strikes and you lose all your data due to a hardware failure, it is important to have a reliable backup solution so that you can recover your data. Many companies believe they have backups in place but they’ve never been tested so are not necessarily usable in an emergency situation. Kinetix offers backup and test restore solutions for both servers and workstations.
Please contact us if you’re interested in working with Kinetix in this upcoming fiscal year!