The way businesses use and buy software has changed dramatically over the years. But the constant for the last 10+ years has been the focus on cloud-based applications. Transitioning to a more remote-based work environment following COVID-19 requires a strategic way of approaching IT. It also changes how we will create an IT budget in response to new costs and trends. To navigate the hidden costs we face, it’s essential to understand the influencing factors behind the IT budget.
Will COVID-19 Impact My IT Budget?
COVID-19 is already impacting IT costs, spending, and IT budgets. Before COVID, companies were gravitating towards cloud-based resources and remote work. This has increased rapidly in response to shutdowns and the need for contact-less business operations.
Companies with cloud solutions in place were set to continue working, and they thrived during shutdowns. At the same time, this was a wake-up call for other businesses to invest more in the cloud and automation for key functions such as accounting.
According to a Deloitte report, 59% of enterprise organizations are planning for their reliance on the cloud to grow past original plans due to COVID-19. Thus, the demand for cloud-based solutions is increasing. While increasing your online resources and solutions will incur costs, cloud-based tech offers significant cost-saving opportunities. To really achieve these benefits, experts emphasize that leaders need clear visibility into cloud usage to monitor costs and get the most value out of these tools.
Understanding the 6 Corporate IT Trends
Before planning for new technology upgrades or further cloud migrations, it’s critical to understand the IT market. There are 6 corporate IT trends that are actively influencing every organization’s IT budget today.
1. IT Structure: On-Prem Networks to Software as a Service (SAAS)
Instead of having IT managed at the office site, businesses purchase software that is delivered fully online and managed/updated by the IT developer.
2. Growing Software Needs: Still Finding Value in New Types of Software
Many different types of digital applications saturate the market. Whatever type of business you have and process you need to perform, there’s an app for that.
3. IT Platforms
IT platforms have arisen as the central base of operations for business applications to be housed in a single location(the cloud) and work together. Example: Salesforce
4. SAAS Integration is THE Game Changer
For software to work together in a cohesive system, integration is required to connect disparate solutions. This is designed to reduce manual labor and increase data flow.
5. More Hidden Costs within IT
With the rise of cloud technology and in particular software integration, there are more hidden costs with buying new technology. Integration is the main driver behind this.
6. Rise of the Digital/Hybrid Workplace
More offices are prioritizing remote or blended work options. Therefore, more reliance on cloud IT is inevitable and critical. More companies will invest in web-based operations.
Because remote work is here to stay, more robust tech is essential for streamlined operations. Regardless of this, concentrating on migrating to the cloud is your best option for heightened efficiency and effectiveness. Don’t undermine this by overstretching your IT budget with IT expenses and poor software. It’s important to question what you really need. Imagine what success looks like for your IT, and execute this vision. This begins with understanding where cost pitfalls are.
What Are the Costs Dictating IT Budget Creation?
There are four costs surrounding cloud IT:
- Software Subscriptions
- Software Integrations
- Software Labor
You can read about them all here. The biggest IT cost stems from IT integration and software labor.
The 5 Ways to Control IT Costs
First off, you don’t need a ton of software; it’s too much to manage and too expensive for your IT budget. What you need is technology that works efficiently. Efficiency is what controls costs. Let’s look at five ways you can achieve this.
1. Avoid integrations
Integrations are at the root of all major IT expenses. You can avoid this entirely by consolidating your software onto a single IT platform. Platforms like Salesforce connect and work together with other native applications all without the need for integration.
2. Document integration requirements
If you must use siloed business tools or software that requires integration, set the integration to be as reliable as possible. Carefully define triggers, data entry points, and design patterns. The more precise your requirements and connectors are the more you can identify and test for errors. Just remember, if the integration is complicated, chances are it’s very fragile, as well. Use integration specialists when needed.
3. Keep up with changes in your apps
Review the release notes of new software updates of your core business tools. This allows you to plan ahead for changes in IT systems that may require attunement in other products. Being proactive saves you from being reactive!
4. Track your time
If your technology is taking more time to operate, delivering poor or delayed results, and are racking up IT consultant time – this is your money down the drain. Tracking time around the software let’s you know what is and isn’t working so you can adjust.
Specifically, you should monitor:
– Software integration difficulties
– Manual data entry
– Operational delays
– Analyzing bad data
5. Audit data regularly
Data is the lifeblood of all modern companies. It is shared between connected applications within your IT network to streamline workflows and produce work. Auditing your data gives you a gauge for how effective your tech is working. This also helps to identify and resolve technical issues before they become more expensive problems.
How Does Accounting Software Manage IT Costs?
Tracking the effectiveness, time efficiency, and costs surrounding your business is paramount alongside revenue tracking and billing. Not only for the IT budget, but for the effectiveness of your entire organizational engine. One of the cloud-based applications you should prioritize is an accounting system with a focus on high-level automation and visibility. Both features let you track everything from individual projects to specific budgets and data surrounding things like your IT resources. Controlling these costs revolves around knowing what’s going on and measuring return on investment. Depending on your choice of applications, you can even avoid some of the IT costs mentioned.
As a native accounting software built on the Salesforce Platform©, Accounting Seed functions fluidly with other Salesforce solutions without the need of integration. The cost of integration and labors are vastly reduced while you have faster, more reliable accounting.
Get the most out of your finances and IT, by consolidating your software on a shared platform. All of your data and software activities are connected. Most importantly, you can save money and get the most out of your accounting all on a single platform.
A native Salesforce accounting app, Accounting Seed, provides a full 360-degree view of your business’ performance to help you and your accounting team make the best decisions possible. Not on Salesforce? Our software can be customized to work with any system you have through a reliable connection.