Being an IT leader is one of the most difficult balancing acts in the modern workforce.
On the one hand, you have to deal with members of management who simply don’t understand computers. On the other, you’ve got management who second-guess your decisions or want to cut IT costs for the sake of the greater budget.
So, when you need the go-ahead from upper management to make an IT purchase that will benefit the company, how do you cut through the red tape and ensure you’re listened to?
Explain the financial benefits
One of the challenges of IT is that, if you do your job well, no one will ever know you’ve done anything at all.
Take the issue of data loss and downtime, which 64 per cent of IT workers at small to medium businesses (SMBs) say is ‘a life-or-death situation’ that needs to be resolved within 24 hours.
And while ‘life-or-death’ may sound hyperbolic, the costs can often spell the end of an SMB.
According to consulting firm IDC and Carbonite, downtime can cost hundreds of dollars per minute, with businesses potentially losing $82,200 to $256,000 for a single business interruption.
So, one of the best ways to get the budget for your IT request is to show management how the initial outlay will be worth the investment in the long run by potentially avoiding such a disaster.
Give the gift of time!
A July 2017 study from the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School found that you can, in fact, buy happiness. In a nutshell, paying someone else to do a task, freeing up your own time, puts a smile on your dial.
Well these days, instead of paying a person to free up your time, you’re more likely to rely on software or other digital technology. However, many businesses fail to automate systems, costing them time and money.
A 2016 study from Samanage found that outdated technology in the United States causes workers to lose more than one full day of work each week.
The lesson learned here? Efficient IT expenditure can ensure your company is as productive as possible. So if you want to sell the benefits of IT to your managers, illustrate that the budget you require will ultimately be paid back with the gift of time!
Cut the jargon
IT can be one of the most intimidating departments to deal with, as the walls to entry are particularly high, given the extensive use of jargon in the industry.
So if you need to communicate an IT issue with management, keep the jargon to a minimum. Make sure you’re clear and concise with what you need. Outline the facts, highlight the business benefits of your IT spend and how it will save the company time and money.
You’ve got this.