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Manage an IT Budget

Control your budget before it controls you.

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Contributors

Ten anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • IT is viewed as a cost center without a clear understanding of the value it provides.
  • After completing the budget, the CIO is faced with changing expectations, disruptions, new risks, and new threats.
  • IT departments often lack a reliable budget management process to keep itself on track towards its budget goals.
  • Over budgeting risks credibility if projects are not all delivered, while under budgeting risks not being able to execute important projects.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Managing your budget is not just about numbers; it’s also about people and processes. Better relationships and a proper process leads to better management of your budget. Understand how your relationships and current processes might be leveraged to manage your budget.
  • No one likes to be over budget, but being under budget isn’t necessarily good either. Coming in under budget may mean that you are not accomplishing the initiatives that you promised you would, reflecting poor job performance.

Impact and Result

  • Implement a formal budget management process that documents your planned budget and actual expenditures, tracks variances, and responds to those variances to stay on track towards budget goals.
  • Manage the expectations of business stakeholders by communicating the links between IT spend and business value in a way that is easily understood by the business.
  • Control for under- or overspending by using Info Tech’s budget management tool and tactics.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to understand the increasing expectations for IT departments to better manage their budgets, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Document

Create a streamlined documentation process that also considers the elements of people and technology.

2. Track

Track your planned budget against actual expenditures to catch areas of over- and underspending in a timely manner.

3. Control

Leverage control mechanisms to manage variances in your budget.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Document

Call #1 - Break up your budget (by month, account, and type).
Call #2 - Assess your current documentation process to discover bottlenecks and how to mitigate their effects.

Guided Implementation #2 - Track

Call #1 - Track your actual spending against your projected budget for the fiscal year.
Call #2 - Use the “Committed Expenditure Schedule.”

Guided Implementation #3 - Control

Call #1 - How to control for over- or underspending.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Document Budget

The Purpose

The first step of managing your IT budget is to make sure there is a properly documented budget that everyone agrees upon.

Key Benefits Achieved

A properly documented budget facilitates management and communication of the budget.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Review budget for the year.

  • Budget broken out into monthly increments and by each account.
1.2

Document each budget in the tool.

  • Budget documented in tool.
1.3

Review CAPEX vs. OPEX.

1.4

Customize accounts to match your organization.

  • Tool customized to reflect organization's specific accounts and terminology.

Module 2: Optimize Documentation Process

The Purpose

A proper documentation process forms the backbone for effective budget management.

Key Benefits Achieved

A streamlined documentation process with accurate inputs that also considers the elements of people and technology.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Draw out process flow of current documentation.

2.2

Identify bottlenecks.

  • Process flow of current documentation process with identified bottlenecks.
2.3

Discuss and develop roadmap to solving bottlenecks.

  • Plan to mitigate bottlenecks.

Module 3: Track and Control for Over- and Underspending

The Purpose

Track your planned budget against actual expenditures to catch areas of over- and underspending in a timely manner. Then, leverage control mechanisms to manage variances in your budget.

Key Benefits Achieved

Tracking and controlling for variances will help the IT department stay on track towards its budget goals. It will also help with communicating IT’s value to the business.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Walk through the “Overview Bar.”

  • Assess the “Overview Bar.”
3.2

Document actual expenses incurred in fiscal to date.

  • Document actual expenditures and committed expenses up to the current date.
3.3

Review the risk of over- and underspending.

  • Develop a strategy and roadmap for how you will mitigate any current under- or overspends.
3.4

Use the reforecast column to control for over- and underspend.

  • Reforecast expenditures for each account for each month for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Search Code: 84562
Published: September 21, 2017
Last Revised: April 11, 2018