As an IT manager, your wish-list for upgrades never ends. Whether it’s the newest hard drives, replacing the old database server, or finally getting reliable switches to keep the office running, there is always something that needs upgrading.
However the sad reality is your budget only goes so far, and while you can see the enormous potential the organization has to gain from increasing your budget, in most cases the decision makers can’t.
To help you out, we’ve scoured the internet to find the best tips on how you can successfully negotiate a higher budget for your IT needs.
Start By Asking
It may sound simple, but most employees never actually ask for the resources that they need to do their jobs effectively. So if you haven’t asked your manager, or CFO for a larger budget yet, start the process by simply asking the question.
If this fails at first then below are four steps that to follow to build a compelling case that nearly guarantees you get the budget you’re looking for.
1. Speak their language
In most cases, the ultimate decision comes from the accountants, not the C-Suite. The first step is to speak the same language as the accounting team. Your arguments should be backed by hard numbers, decrease costs, or boost profits – Ideally both.
2. Prove the ROI
One popular tactic is to show the Return On Investment that your purchases will deliver the company.
Here are a few things to consider when calculating the ROI:
- How many labor hours will the upgrade save?
- Will this upgrade save time from repairing the same appliance?
- Will it automate a simple task?
- How much downtime will it prevent?
- What is the potential to make extra money from it?
- How will it decrease on-going running costs?
For example, if you’d like to upgrade the network connection for your web server, how much quicker will that deliver your data? If it shaves .5 of a second off of your website load time, it will increase conversions by 1.5% – That in itself could generate an ROI from the upgrade.
You’ll need to think outside the box, do some research and be creative to find good reasons. However, once you do, you’re no longer convincing the accountants to spend money, you’re instead showing them how to make or save more money.
3. Research Competitors
No company likes to be left behind its competitors. Take some time and do as much research as possible on your competitor’s technology set ups and see how you compare.
Does their server respond faster than yours? Do their retail outlets have the hand held devices while you’re still using computer stations? By arming yourself with knowledge of what others are doing, you can strengthen your case if you’re company is lagging behind.
4. Structure your argument
Once you have all your facts prepared, carefully structure and write down your request.
Your manager or CFO is busy, so by making the points clear and straightforward, you boost your chances of them taking the time to consume it. Make sure you include:
- What you’re going to upgrade
- The benefits it will bring to the company
- Any potential costs savings or revenue generation it will bring
- What your competitions situation is
- The exact dollar figure you’re looking for
- The rough ROI this investment will generate
Simply prepare this all, and present it in writing, as well as spoken to those who make the decisions, and you’ll be amazed at the results.
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