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Monday, 18 August 2014

When justifying IT costs to top management is “small hell”..

As we may all know organizations will always want to keep pace with technological change, for any upgrade in the technological world and market; almost all organizations want to reap benefits of that upgrade. For instance, when the IT department plans to upgrade operating system from windows 98 or XP to Vista, windows 7 or even recent Windows 8, this shall in arguably involve costs! Windows 7 is better by the fact that it offers a 64 bit CPU processors and this comes with an array of benefits however tell me how you are going to convince a CFO or higher management about this if they are not willing to venture into this area, or if it is not what they consider critical?
And worse still, such an improvement may go hand in hand with an upgrade of PC hardware hence making the cost even higher. If such issues are not treated by the Companies in the proper manner, IT departments shall be frustrated.
This shall be very hard compared to a proposal by the marketing department to undertake a campaign that will increase sales by 20%, top management will bow down to the demands of the marketing department and sideline the IT dept, reason being the impact of the marketing campaign looks to be more clear them than the seeming white elephant of IT department. This is a challenge and is very frustrating to the IT section in organizations.
From my experience, this is a commendable way to present a budget for your IT department is as follows:
Prepare a documentation of your budget in time detailing your department needs, present it to the  concerned authorities giving ample time to make considerations and changes where necessary
Discuss it extensively with top management showing how the benefits of the improvement shall be felt across all departments
Explain the need for each item in your budget.
Show how each component will be of value to the company in relation to competitors
Use more of business terms than core technical jargons.
Breakdown the budget over a period of time and make sure it is sufficient enough to meet your objectives within that period of time
Where applicable, give options to the upgrade that the department needs to introduce in the organization
Always plan your budget with a 10% miscellaneous due to changes that may arise in the market over a period of time
With this, Companies should give IT the priority well deserved. It is important to embrace changes in technology as they come other than sitting back till one day the cost of transition is too high. Constant increments are better than a onetime overhaul. 

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