Planning for the Future: What to Consider When Creating Your IT Department Budget

Like any budgeting process, creating your IT budget involves walking a tightrope. Despite the constant pressure to reduce IT costs, it’s equally vital to ensure that priority areas get the funding they need.

This year, managing your IT budget for success while also cutting costs is especially challenging. According to a Spiceworks Ziff Davis report on the state of IT, 80% of businesses are expecting their IT budgets to remain steady—or even grow—in the coming year.

Lack of certainty plays a role in that. Workplace trends are shifting rapidly in response to global events. As a result, funding is being increasingly channeled toward versatile software and cloud solutions. The same Spiceworks Ziff Davis report noted that hosted and cloud services are going to see higher allocations in 2021 IT budgets.

And that trend will likely continue over the long term. IDC, a leading provider of market intelligence, is predicting that the number of mobile workers will expand to 93.5 million in the United States in 2024. Those mobile and remote workers will need to be supported by cloud services and flexible business processes.

With that in mind, how can you achieve IT spending reductions without compromising security or sacrificing productivity? Here are four important things to consider.


Consolidate infrastructure

Shrinking your hardware footprint is one of the most effective ways to significantly reduce IT spending. That might explain why the Spiceworks Ziff Davis survey found that hardware budgeting dropped 4% between 2019 and 2021.

By carefully choosing to cut hardware expenses, you can redirect those resources toward cloud services and SaaS platforms. Those more agile solutions enhance productivity and mobility, which in turn boost long-term ROI. So take a close look at emerging solutions that can replace legacy hardware. For instance, serverless printing can reduce IT costs by eliminating physical print servers along with the resources that go into operating and administering them.


Optimize the help desk

Reducing infrastructure doesn’t just mean less hardware or fewer software licenses to maintain. It can also lower the number of help-desk calls and alleviate the burden on IT support staff.

In the past, many IT departments dealt with complex environments and use cases by just adding more technology to the mix. However, that only led to more complexity over time. Front-line support staff like the help desk ended up bearing the brunt of those extra moving parts.

That’s why simplifying your IT environment does more than trim excess fat. It also enables your help desk to operate more efficiently, saving time and money enterprise-wide.


Empower your end users

Another way to lift some weight from IT’s shoulders—and likewise cut costs—is by empowering end users with safe, intuitive solutions. When they’re able to carry out tasks with full confidence (and zero hand-holding), they don’t need to make constant requests for support. That eases the demand on IT service levels and makes end users more productive at the same time.

A great example of this dual benefit is self-service printing. If employees can easily and securely install nearby printers on their own, they rely much less on IT to solve their problems. The help desk and IT support staff can instead refocus on much more important issues. And end users can too.


Don’t skimp on security

In the United States, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is $8.6 million. But years of misguided cost optimization have taken their toll on security and threat preparedness. A 2018 Quocirca survey found that only 30% of all the respondents were fully confident that their print infrastructure was hardened against internal and external threats.

The significant cost of risk is something you need to keep in mind when managing your IT budget—and more specifically, when looking for ways to cut expenses. Trying to save a little money upfront can lead to big, expensive headaches down the road. Invest in solutions that truly walk the walk and are secure by design.


Get your IT budget on the right track with PrinterLogic

PrinterLogic’s serverless printing infrastructure addresses all of those considerations in a single future-proof solution.

  • Both PrinterLogic SaaS and the PrinterLogic Virtual Appliance reduce expensive legacy print infrastructure by eliminating print servers.
  • PrinterLogic drastically reduces help-desk calls, with over half of surveyed PrinterLogic customers reporting declines of 50% or more.
  • By resolving the biggest pain points in enterprise printing, PrinterLogic makes life easier on end users and admins alike.
  • And, just as importantly, PrinterLogic’s combination of direct-IP printing with centralized administration is inherently secure.

Together, advantages like these can significantly reduce IT costs while boosting ROI through gains in security and productivity.