IT budget pie chart

Well, it’s already March on the calendar, but it’s not too late to review and reshape your IT budget planning for 2024. Moreover, it’s wise to constantly check your progress to ensure your ship is going in the right direction. 


Now, look back for a moment and find yourself at the end of 2023. Have you spent your annual budget to the full? To what extent did your company achieve the business goals? And what if we say that ​​unused money may indicate missed opportunities for growth and innovation? For instance, you could invest in AI integration and achieve better product security and, as a result, get higher customer loyalty and sales. That’s what digital business leaders did in 2023, but the AI trend is only expected to flourish by 2030.


If you’re not quite happy with the latest company’s achievements, continue reading our article to find out the best budget allocation strategies you can apply in 2024 and change the game for a win. 


Understanding your budget


To start with, you need to specify your IT business needs for this year and outline the expenses and fees for each service. This preparation will bring you visibility and help you avoid overspending.


Assessing current priorities


Despite the horrifying recession, approximately two-thirds of IT companies intend to increase their budgeting for IT needs in 2024. However, not to do more harm, this increase should be well-planned, which means understanding the relevant priorities to work on throughout the year.


To cope with this task, we recommend you go through this checklist:


  • Do these priorities align with your company’s mission and vision? 
  • Are they matchable with the current market situation and customer trends?
  • Is there any better cost-effective alternative to attain the same?
  • What should be changed to get you to the next milestone?
  • What result should it bring to you after implementation? 


Now, after the deliberate analysis, nestle comfortably and reframe your priorities. Also, don’t neglect the low-priority goals as they can turn into serious bumps on your way later on. Remember that they all affect your final IT delivery.


Setting business goals

 

After you’ve shaped the general direction(s) you’d like to go during the year, it turns to divide them into smaller bits—business goals. 


Our pro tip: To make your annual objectives crystal clear, specify the following:


  • Time — What is the deadline?
  • Quantity — How many?
  • Quality — How well?
  • Cost — How much?
  • Percentage of change — From what to what?


Also, this part of IT project budget planning demands outlining the KPIs to track your company’s financial and operational performance.


Automating processes


Thinking about smart IT budget management, consider the question of automation. On the one hand, you need to invest in technology that will reduce manual labor, speed up operations, and minimize errors. On the other hand, this is a means to reduce your business costs in the long run, increase efficiency, and win time for higher-level tasks.


Identifying automation potential


Now that you know the cost and value of automating business processes, go and choose the areas that are the most suitable for automation. Depending on your company’s specifics, it can be something from the list below (but not limited to!):


  • Streamlining resource allocation (e-commerce, supply chain management, logistics);
  • Enhancing accuracy (order placement, inventory management, accounting);
  • Turning manual routine into automated (financial reporting, payments, tax compliance);
  • Facilitating the sales prognosis (lead generation);
  • Understanding your customer needs (marketing);
  • Providing insights for more informed business decisions;
  • Improving customer support.


Choosing automation tools


As automation aids in optimizing IT expenditures, let’s discuss the corresponding tools you can benefit from. To be short, we’ll name just a few:


  • CRM software solutions. One of the most notable examples is HubSpot, which contributes to convenient customer relationship management through detailed reports, marketing instruments, and sales monitoring.
  • Financial process automation tools. The choice of solutions here is broad: from DocuSign for invoice processing to Oracle Netsuite for financial reporting.
  • Enhanced data analytics. Among the plenty of tools, we’ll stress Microsoft Power BI, which brings all your business reports from different sources into one single place.
  • Marketing automation tools. In this regard, we can mention Omnisend and Marketo as the perfect helpers in automating email, social media, account-based, and other types of marketing initiatives.
  • Workflow optimization solutions. These are the tools used for navigating within project tasks and tracking the progress—Jira and Trello are among the most frequent choices.


Integrating Artificial Intelligence


The majority of world leaders are now leveraging AI integration in business to foster digital transformation, which means making it a separate expense item within the annual budget. Moreover, 91% of companies implementing AI technology claim that it has contributed to making their company more successful. At the same time, one-third of such businesses anticipate it to save them +$5,000 the following year.


Replacing or augmenting the workforce with AI


AI can also be one of the cost-effective IT solutions when it comes to the desired productivity increase. This can be done either by educating staff to use AI to automate some repetitive tasks, augment the volume of work done, and save time for something else, or by replacing some personnel with AI capacities. The latter, by the way, is characterized by higher security and lower error probability.


Developing and enhancing products


Another item of your expenditure within the annual digital transformation budget might be enhancing product development. Think of how you can improve your existing software solution or of the strategy to build the required one. For professional assistance, reach out to a reliable IT provider and delegate the job to experts.


Investing in product development


Remember that product development is often the most powerful method in gaining more revenue due to new services offered and customer’s needs satisfied. In other words, by investing in creating a new and competitive market value, you logically attract more customers and get more sales.


Patternica's tips to spend your budget smartly


As a sum-up, we’d like to leave you with a few IT budget optimization recommendations from our team:


  • Begin your annual IT budget planning by learning the lessons from the past;
  • Measure each technology investment ROI before implementation starts;
  • Invest in the security of your solution—AI is a big aid here as well; 
  • Establish clear-cut goals with the determination of time, quantity, and quality of deliverables;
  • Consider IT outsourcing as a great support in your project accomplishment;
  • Contact us to enhance your product or build the required functionality for your business.
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