Nothing happens in business without budgets. They keep you on track and alert you if you start spending more than you have. But managing an IT budget is no easy feat. Who is responsible for your budget – you, or your IT team? How much is your budget? Seventy percent of respondents in a TechRepublic survey said their 2019 IT budget was less than $1 million. Who provides your IT services? Will you hire an in-house employee or use an IT solutions company? Deciding which option to choose will dictate your IT costs for the year. Are you wondering how to answer these questions so you can budget for IT costs? Read on to learn more.

Short Term IT Costs

Sure, you could keep things in-house to manage your short-term costs. On average, an IT technician earns $73,787 per year. Divide that by 12 to see how much you’d be paying per month. But it’s not as simple as budgeting for an IT employee’s salary. You also need to add sick pay, health insurance, or vacation. Who will provide cover when your technician is away?

Longer-Term Costs

You may be able to predict the daily running costs for your IT. Take an audit of your software licenses to plan when they need renewal. This lets you budget for their costs on a yearly basis. But what about investment in your system? You’ll need new hardware and upgrades. You can pay as you go, and buy things you need as and when you need them. True, Microsoft won’t be making you pay for Windows updates anymore. But where will you find space in your budget? Will your IT technician source the right hardware for your business? Or will you need to research the products you need? Factor the time involved in your costs since that’s time taken away from your job.

Unexpected Costs

Trying to manage your budget often doesn’t take unexpected costs into account. How much might you have to pay for out-of-hours work? An emergency at the weekend could run up a large bill. But what about other emergency IT costs like disaster recovery? Are you prepared to set aside a sum every month to cover any eventuality? The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. You’ll need to decide if you can afford to risk figures like that.

Try Managed IT Service Providers

Using managed IT services means you know what you’re paying for. The monthly flat rate makes it much easier to budget for IT costs. The provider will audit your needs to find the package that best suits your business. You can decide what you want to include. Costs may be based on the number of machines or users. You’ll pay more depending on the level of monitoring you want. Selecting disaster recovery options can push up the price. But once you’ve set the monthly cost, you know exactly how much will be paid. There are no hidden charges to worry about. Because a team handles your account, you don’t need cover when your technician is sick or on vacation. It’s a safer way to cover any eventuality.

Balance the Risks Against the Costs

Now you know how to budget for IT costs. An in-house technician might seem like a safer choice. But choosing managed IT services is the best way to balance your budget. You know exactly how much you will pay every month – whatever happens. It also buys peace of mind in the event of a disaster. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of security. Do you want an IT partner to manage your IT costs? Get in touch today and find out how we can help.