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Are You Asking the Wrong Questions about Your IT Budget?

 

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs left his mark. He introduced us to the first home computer with a color screen and the first game-changing smartphone. Both ideas were revolutionary. And he did it with a company founded in his parents’ garage on a measly $1,350 in startup cash.

Today, Apple is worth an estimated $750 billion.

As impressive as some of his accomplishments were, one of his more profound achievements was comparatively humble. It was just a question. When Apple engineers presented a new design to Jobs, he had a standard response: “Is this the best you can do?”

That question pushed engineers to improve on their ideas. It drove a commitment to excellence and innovation. It helped his folks tap into the very best they could deliver.

It was the right question.

Talking IT Money

30% of small business owners are worried about keeping up with technology. That makes sense. You’ve got more in the bank than Apple’s starter budget, but you don’t have billions. It’s important to make every dollar in your IT budget count.

Here’s the rub. You could easily dump tons of cash into IT. There’s always going to be exciting new software, new equipment, new tech toys and new innovations. By the end of this year, analysts expect total worldwide IT spending to be in the neighborhood of $3.5 trillion. (Yes, “trillion,” with a “t.”)

So . . . how much should YOUR IT budget be?

That’s what you want to know, right? What’s the magic formula to determine what percentage of your expenditures to earmark for technology?

Wrong question.

Asking the Right Question

Jobs’ question to his engineers was brilliant because it pushed them to do more with the same resources. If they had any doubts about the current design, they reworked things. Ideas evolved. The resulting innovation literally changed the world.

Your IT budget is your IT budget. You have the capital you have. That’s why asking how much you should spend is the wrong question. There’s a fixed limit, regardless of how much you might want to spend.

And that’s not really want you want to know, anyway. What you want to know is this: how little can you spend and still have a workable set of tech tools to operate your business?

That’s better, but it’s still not the ideal question. It’s aimed at setting your IT budget as low as possible. Instead, focus on getting as much as possible.

Here’s what you need to ask. What’s the best combination of tech solutions you can implement based on your current financial restraints? Given your resources, how can you get the absolute most bang for your IT buck?

Now we’re thinking strategically.

A Strategy for Real Growth

Your organization faces unique challenges. It’s not like any canned set of tech solutions can address every business need you have. And throwing money at problems never works.

The best way to approach your IT budget is to push past basic questions – like how much should you spend – and get to the heart of the matter.

If you had the tech tools you really need, what pain points would disappear? What could you accomplish that you can’t accomplish now? How would your company be more efficient, more effective and ultimately, more profitable?

You could invest millions into your IT budget and still come up short. Or you could spend a fraction of that and have a suite of IT solutions that fits your organization like a glove.

The KJ Way

The team at KJ Technology is focused on helping Manhattan small to medium-sized businesses make the most of every dollar in their IT budgets. We’re passionate about making our clients successful, and we’re committed to building real relationships along the way.

If you’re sorting through your IT budget and would like to take a more strategic approach, we invite you to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to show you just how much you can do with your IT budget.