If business were perfect and sales were stable, it is reasonable to suspect that a company’s budget would mirror the company’s direction. That means that IT would be given a budget that would allow them to maintain their system infrastructure and platform. This system would then perfectly serve the business as it achieved its goals.
Since business isn’t quite that predictable IT systems are often the first to suffer when budget cuts are required. At each of the small to medium size companies I’ve worked for there has always been a struggle to find the budget for system upgrades. Maybe a bigger hurdle than slim budgets is finding the time to allow IT to upgrade their systems.
Many executives and salesmen at companies I’ve been at seem to think investing time and money in to IT is similar to buying a lady flowers, something that the lady would obviously like but she doesn’t NEED them, right? I’ve seen my IT coworkers pull rabbits out of hats many times but in the last year these same magicians who squeeze every ounce out of their systems have told me ‘it can’t be done’ more than ever before. Since I know these guys aren’t lazy I know that the answer is their tools are outdated.
The next step in systems evolution in this case is very simple. Upgrade or go out of business. The world is moving too fast for companies to stand pat because the company down the street HAS maintained their system and has all the capabilities needed to compete. If sales is going to continue to promise potential business that the world can be delivered, then IT needs tools that can deliver the world.
So in your budget meetings for 2015, set aside both budget and time for IT to upgrade their systems because at the end of the day they’re your systems too.