Perhaps one of the toughest tasks a business must take on is creating its budget.
No matter which industry you're in, creating a thorough budget that correctly prioritizes each area of your operations is no easy job.
One area that can be particularly tricky is your IT budget. Your information technology is the building block of your company, but there are so many different ways to run your IT department.
For example, are you going to outsource specific areas — such as security? How many full-time IT professionals do you need on your staff? Which software should you include in your IT to make sure that it is running smoothly?
Perhaps, most importantly, you have to craft and organize your IT budget to ensure that it is scalable in the event of growth.
When the yearly budget plan is due each year, before you sign off on it and use the same strategy you used in the past year, it's essential to ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you're getting the most out of your current IT budget.
Questions to Consider When Creating Your IT Budget
If you're outsourcing areas of your IT, are they living up to their promises?
Especially for larger companies, it can be easy to choose some well-reviewed third-party IT suppliers and then simply count on them to do their job.
But don't fall into that trap.
Make sure that whoever you are partnering with when it comes to your IT is following through on their promises.
For example, many third-party IT companies promise extensive customer service, but if that hasn't been the case, it might be time to look elsewhere. It's hard to justify paying for their services if — when you might need them most (i.e., during a breach) — they are nowhere to be found.
Everything that is listed on the original agreement between you and your third-party IT partners should be followed to a "T." Make sure that is the case.
Are there better options out there for outsourcing?
Don't make the mistake of going for a cheaper IT outsourcing solution to save money.
But, don't go with the most expensive, robust option either if you don't need it.
It's all about finding that sweet spot and working with the right IT partner for you.
Are your current IT solutions as comprehensive as you need them?
Your organization is likely growing. And if not, then you likely have plans for growth.
So, the big question here is, do your current IT solutions allow for scalability?
If you're finding that your current IT initiatives and strategies are inhibiting your opportunity to expand, then it's time to switch up your budgeting to add more scalable, flexible solutions.
How likely of a target are you for hackers and scammers?
Every organization should ensure that they are adequately protected from hackers, but — to be fair — there are some organizations and businesses out there who are a little more susceptible to data breaches than others.
For example, here at Medicus IT, we work with many healthcare organizations to ensure that they have the security in place to ensure that they are HIPAA compliant. We also work with our clients to conduct risk assessments and identify phishing/scamming solutions, as well as provide services in vulnerability scanning and encryption and management.
It's our goal to make sure that our clients are well-protected from the ever-progressing tactics of hackers — who often target healthcare practices.
So, the question here is, are you spending enough money to ensure that you're properly protected? If the answer is no, then it may be time to look for ways to increase your IT budget.
Is your on-staff IT department strong enough?
Even if your IT is primarily outsourced, it's still a great idea to make sure you have your bases covered when it comes to your internal IT staff.
Make sure that you talk to any internal IT employees you have, to ask them if there are improvements that can be made.
For example, they may have suggestions for the latest software that can protect against malware. Or, perhaps they are being overworked and adding an extra pair of hands to assist with the day-to-day responsibilities of your IT department would help.
When it comes to your budgeting — and specifically, whether or not you're getting your money's worth — you need to talk to some of the people who are close to the department that the budget is affecting. If you're too focused on the bottom line and cutting costs, you may be put your business in jeopardy of being hacked or having serious IT mishaps that could have otherwise been avoided.
How much time are you spending on IT issues that could've been avoided with a more robust IT budget?
Are you finding that your IT team is spending way to much time on preventable issues? For example, perhaps you're not outsourcing any of your IT, but your internal team is too small or doesn't have the bandwidth for handling specific issues. If this is the case, consider restructuring your internal team and finding ways to spread out the load.
Sure, you may be expanding your IT budget, but this can save you time and money in the long run.
Looking to Upgrade Your IT? Contact Medicus IT Today
No one understands the need for an effective IT department like us — especially when it pertains to the healthcare industry.
We are experts with HIPAA rules and regulations. Our HIPAA security solutions will protect you from data breaches and potential liability. We will provide a free analysis of your network to locate potential weaknesses. Remember, a data breach can result in a HIPAA audit, exposing your practice to potential fines if found non-compliant.
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