The Realities of Balancing IT Budgets with Business Demands - How Will All the Work Be Accomplished?

That time of year may be rolling around again - budget time. Or, if you are like many organizations, just as you get one done, you are already discussing and strategizing for the next.

What projects are required by the business you support?  How much will it all cost and how are you going to squeeze more from every budget dollar?  These are just some of the questions which need to be answered.

Money is tight.  You are expected to do more with equal or less. Are you facing the need to downsize staff, but will still be obligated to produce the same amount of work?  And worse yet, have you already given up every resource you could spare, but still must reduce headcount?  You are not alone.

Most financial institutions are facing the same issues.  Yet, at the same time, the advances in technology are allowing a steady stream of new ways in which the consumer can conduct their financial business and they are demanding access to it.  Your challenge is to balance the business demands with the amount of “through put” your reduced staffing level can handle.  So, what can you do in the budgeting process to meet all the needs and challenges on your desk?

  • Explain the limitations on your resources (people, time and budget) and that they will have to trim their request list.  Not a popular alternative and, possibly, detrimental  to your career.  A little of this approach might be prudent and should be expected by the business, but it will not solve the entire budget crisis.
  • Accept the workload and prepare to disappoint the organization with respect to the timelines for completed  projects.  By elongating timelines, you would be able to take on the entire project list, but the business may be dissatisfied by the delivery delay. The delay could also result in defeating the purpose of the doing the project or projects.
  • Demand more from your staff. Again, another unpopular side of the available alternatives. Working your staff harder and longer, for the same dollars, may seem like a necessary evil, but it may also result in losing the very resources you value and need most.

Another alternative you may wish to consider is allocating budget dollars for additive resources. With outside resources, you gain flexibility and can access several benefits cost effectively:

  • Staff your area at appropriate levels, throughout the year, as projects come and go, change, increase or reach conclusion. You can draw on the resources you need, without going through the time and expense of staffing a full-time position.
  • Draw on expertise needed for short periods of time. Your organization may be approaching an acquisition, upgrade, conversion or  project that needs a specialized, highly skilled resource. Consultants can bring that expertise into your organization, positively impact your project, and open your department to opportunities to save money and time, as well as achieve the efficiencies you need to operate at your prime.

As you approach your budgeting for the year, we encourage you to think about what resources could benefit your organization in the coming year. We are finding, even in the current economic challenges, good resources are working, with little benchtime.

Consider what you have ahead and call EDGE or your provider of choice. Let us talk about what needs you see coming down the road. The more we understand your challenges and the changing pulse of your organization, the better we will be able to connect you with the right resource at the right time. Our goal is to be an extension of your department, to be there when you need support.

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