9th March, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Having a well-laid out IT budget is crucial for your IT department as it provides them with a roadmap to project operations. Management can easily see where the money is going and what resources are available. This eliminates the need to justify or request any IT expenses later on.
The IT costs of a company comprise a sizable chunk of its overall budget. Therefore, planning well for these expenses is a very crucial task.
Every year, IT leaders across the globe work diligently to plan their budgets and overall tech strategy.
IT budgeting refers to aligning a company's business strategy with its tech-related requirements. As the department needs are defined, the IT leaders of the company allocate resources to support the strategy.
Before the planning process starts, there are a few major questions that we must answer, like what are some of the top company initiatives, what method IT follows to make them happen, what value every project adds up to the business, etc.
Yet, the road to foolproof IT Budget planning involves a few super tips and tricks to make the planning process a resounding success.
So, let us dive right into the seven tips IT teams need to keep in mind while planning an IT budget.
Before you work on your present IT budget, it is good to understand what was in your past year’s budget. Upon reviewing previous budgets and goals, if you find a big gap in the results, you need to discuss it with top management. This helps you either ask for additional budgets or set realistic goals for the year.
To thoroughly review your prior budgets, you first need to look at all the invoices, receipts, income and reconcile those with all the bank statements for the IT department.
There are three major categories of any IT spending.: capital spending, project spending, and operating spending.
The capital spending usually includes all the hardware purchases, software upgrades, software licenses, and replacement of parts.
The operating spending includes all the spending associated with IT operations, such as maintenance, subscriptions, hardware support, and software support.
Then there should also be a project budget that covers the incentive-specific expenses. Typically, these expenses are a flexible part of the budget, which can be adjusted from the rest of the budget.
It is important to address all the spending and cut down on unnecessary expenditures. You need to take full responsibility and ownership of what you want your team to accomplish. You must look at the areas you ignored in the past and assume new approaches to ensure maximum efficiency.
For instance, you can propose a shift to the cloud to save on any infrastructure costs. This will increase your data storage efficiency, but it will also require a less costly budget that can be approved without a lot of negotiation.
Make a comprehensive list of all your IT equipment to see how old they are. Once you make a list, decide if you want to keep the equipment or upgrade them.
There are some best practices for upgrading parts. A company should purchase a new desktop or laptop every 3 to 5 years. After completing five years of a computer, it may seem it is working okay, but it is likely slower than the newer models in the market. A slower computer is bound to reduce the efficiency of the employees.
Similarly, servers need an update after every three years to exhibit the highest efficiency. WiFi routers last up to 4 to 5 years approximately, and mobile devices can go on for 2 to 3 years.
So, if you feel your devices have been around far too long and your efficiency is taking a downwards dive. You need to upgrade your IT equipment. While this may create a new expense for the upcoming budget, it may be worth it. If you ignore such expenses for the sake of cutting costs, then bad equipment will become worse to stop working completely someday.
Many IT costs are recurring in nature. For instance, cloud storage space. The more data your company accrues, the more space you need. If you still use legacy storage, then your first task should be to change it. But even if you are on the cloud, you need more space once the current space runs out. And the space will run out!
Another recurring expense goes towards the renewal of software licenses. Whenever your contract with the software vendor ends, you have the option of either renewing the contract, negotiating the current agreement, or ending the contract altogether.
Your employees and managers are the ones who use the company equipment daily. They have a better idea about the upgrades required.
Consulting them before finalizing your IT budget is a good idea as you can learn about the IT status quo of your company from the end-users perspective. You can also gather information about the changes your employees and managers would like to see in the upcoming IT systems and processes.
If you notice certain requests are common across multiple departments, those requirements should be prioritized.
Your budget should also hinge more on research and development efforts to improve the ability of the company to compete well in the market. For this again, you can turn to your employees and managers.
To make your budget all-inclusive, you can segregate the budget items into three broad categories. These are:
Run budget items - These items include all the mission-critical server replacements, software upgrades, and personnel costs related to administering and maintaining IT infrastructure at large. The organization should not cut back on spending on these items.
Grow budget items - These items aid the organization in introducing new capabilities or enhancing the existing capabilities. For instance, implementing new software to enhance operational efficiency or buying a new firewall for additional protection from cyber threats. There is some time flexibility associated with growth budget items.
Transform budget items - These refer to the research and development-related activities. For instance, proof of concepts, prototypes, and small-scale testing of new systems. These items can be ignored when the finances are tight.
You can contact your vendor’s sales representative before finalizing the budget. While this may seem counterintuitive, it is not.
By commencing sales talks before time, you can make a list of all the vendors who seem right. You can also list the pros and cons of doing business with each vendor.
You might also learn about the discounts that your company is eligible to receive, and you can make a price-based comparison to find out which vendor caters to your needs best at the lowest price.
By vetting vendors early, you can easily meet your budget planning goals because you are in a position to negotiate better by the cost comparison. This may even fuel some competition between the top vendors, consequently providing you the best deals in return.
With this explosion of SaaS at companies, there arise SaaS challenges caused by apps getting out of your control. These SaaS challenges varies in three dimension: spend management, security and complance risks, and various SaaS operations tasks like automating SaaS procurments, renewals, employees onboarding and offboarding.
‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.
An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.
IT teams must equip themselves with the latest skills and knowledge and keep an eye on the latest technology updates and releases.
Today, the adoption of digital transformation is imperative for every business to survive and thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. Business benefits of digital transformation include higher enterprise-wide productivity and efficiency, enhanced user experience, in-depth and accurate insights, faster and better business decisions, and improved agility and innovation, resulting in increased business revenue and sustainability. We have got the 20 best books that can help you accelerate your digital transformation journey. Let's dive right in. 20 Best Books for Digital Transformation Adoption and Acceleration 1. Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David L. Rogers 2. Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel 3. Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery by Sriram Narayan 4. The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan Copulsky, Garth Andrus, Paul Michelman (Editor) 5. Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace by Neil Perkin (Goodreads Author), Peter Abraham (Goodreads Author) (Co-author) 6. Digital Transformation at Scale: Why the Strategy Is Delivery by Andrew Greenway, Ben Terrett, Mike Bracken, Tom Loosemore 7. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee 8. Clearing the Digital BLUR: How Organizations Can Transform Themselves At the Speed of Digital by Rajiv Jayaraman 9. Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary 10. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary 11. Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson 12. Edge: Value-Driven Digital Transformation by Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu, David Robinson 13. IT Strategy: A 3-Dimensional Framework to Plan Your Digital Transformation and Deliver Value to Your Enterprise by Jim Maholic 14. 77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation: The Digital Capability Model by Jace An 15. Mastering Digital Business: How powerful combinations of disruptive technologies are enabling the next wave of digital transformation by Nicholas D. Evans 16. The Digital Matrix: New Rules for Business Transformation Through Technology by Venkat Venkatraman 17. Agile Transformation: Structures, Processes, and Mindsets for the Digital Age by Neil Perkin 18. The Transformation Files: 17 Insights to Inspire Managers and Leaders in the Transformation of a Digital Economy Business by Rob Llewellyn 19. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler 20. The Industries of the Future by Alec J. Ross Conclusion 1. Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David L. Rogers Rogers explores digital transformation phenomena and what distinguishes organizations that successfully adapt and thrive in the digital world. With a decade of experience in global business consulting and teaching at Columbia Business School, Rogers explains how established companies can refresh their game plans to capture new opportunities in the digital world. Pick this book for: The book focuses on practical tools and strategies for all businesses, big and small, across all industries, useful in decision making and strategy formulation. It contains case studies for a detailed illustration of concepts. The Digital Transformation Playbook is an indispensable guide for executives that explains how legacy businesses can transform to thrive in the digital era. Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5 (522 ratings) 2. Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel In his book, Tom Siebel provides much-needed clarity on digital transformation. The book talks about the convergence of four significant technology forces – big data, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and how they have revolutionized businesses in private and public sectors. In his book, Tom illustrates the real-life digital transformation case studies at Caterpillar, 3M, U.S. Air Force, and Royal Dutch Shell and explains how top executives in an enterprise can successfully drive digital transformation. Pick this book for: Besides helping his readers understand digital transformation, Tom offers actionable advice and concrete guidance for a successful digital transformation adoption. Goodreads Rating: 4.04/5 (300 ratings) 3. Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery by Sriram Narayan In the book, Sriram Narayan explores organizational design by IT leadership for IT organizations. He leverages his industry experience, existing literature on organizational design, and well-regarded work on a team and individual psychology to synthesize an Agile IT organizational design that could benefit the enterprise IT. The book is a framework and standards agnostic and discusses problems, explores reasons, and provides solutions. The book is for top-level executives and IT governance group members for medium to large IT organizations that face business and IT agility challenges. Pick this book for: Sriram has used real-life examples to help you evaluate and enhance enterprise designs to improve mastery, autonomy, and purpose. Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5 (153 ratings) 4. The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan Copulsky, Garth Andrus, Paul Michelman (Editor) The book explains why an organization should focus more on processes and people than on technology to respond to digital disruption. The authors leverage their four years of research in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, interviews with managers in organizations, including Google, Walmart, Salesforce, and surveying 16,000+ people. They argue that businesses can successfully respond to digital disruption by changing the organizational culture to be more risk-tolerant, agile, and experimental. Pick this book for: The book guides business leaders and managers to survive digital disruptions by making organizational changes to harness technology’s power. Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5 (137 ratings) 5. Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace by Neil Perkin (Goodreads Author), Peter Abraham (Goodreads Author) (Co-author) The book guides the change managers and enterprise development professionals to understand, implement, and learn the workplace digital transformation. By setting aside the outdated strategies and traditional thinking, the book focuses on creating enterprise velocity, removing unnecessary processes, establishing iterative working, mapping strategy to motivation, embed innovation, and developing talent to succeed. Pick this book for: The book efficiently delivers information to audiences of varied experiences and levels. It offers real-world case studies coupled with practical advice with more technical and academic knowledge and serves as an essential guide to building an agile organization. Goodreads Rating: 4.32/5 (56 ratings) 6. Digital Transformation at Scale: Why the Strategy Is Delivery by Andrew Greenway, Ben Terrett, Mike Bracken, Tom Loosemore ‘Digital Transformation at Scale’ guides the readers on how to build a digital institution. It explains how reformers in governments and businesses have globally enabled their enterprises' pivot to this noble way of working, with the lessons learned from their experience. Pick this book for: The authors leverage their experience in designing and delivering the UK government's successful ‘Government Digital Service' (GDS), the new institution responsible for the digital transformation of government, creating public services for the internet era. Besides snipping GBP4 billion off the government's technology bill, GDS opened up public sector contracts to thousands of new suppliers and became tremendously popular among citizens with its superior-quality online services without a big marketing campaign. Private sector companies and other countries notified the GDS model’s success, and it's now being copied across the world. Goodreads Rating: 4.27/5 (81 ratings) 7. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee In ‘AI Superpowers,’ Dr. Kai-Fu Lee reveals that China has rapidly caught up with the US at an astonishing speed. According to Lee, Chinese and American AI will significantly impact white-collar jobs besides having a devastating effect on the blue-collared jobs as predicted by most experts. Lee claims that these unprecedented AI developments lead to dramatic changes much sooner than expected. Pick this book for: He further explains the jobs that will be affected and those that can be enhanced with AI and discusses how we can offer solutions to some of the most significant changes in human history. Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5 (8,422 ratings) 8. Clearing the Digital BLUR: How Organizations Can Transform Themselves At the Speed of Digital by Rajiv Jayaraman The new breed of competitors like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba are disrupting the industries using innovative strategies beyond the understanding of most seasoned enterprises. The book helps you understand how these digital-born enterprises perceive the world around them. Besides helping you transform your organization to compete in today's digital rat-race, the book explains how to thrive in the digital age. Pick this book for: Tackling the digital challenge calls for a fresh perspective compared to the industrial age management playbooks. ‘Clearing the digital BLUR’ serves as a guidebook for managers and leaders to accelerate digital adoption, backed by a modern strategy, leadership, execution, and culture. It offers a holistic approach to digital transformation through practical insights in actionable frameworks, case studies, worksheets, and leaders’ interviews. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (12 ratings) 9. Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary Contrary to selling a product or service, today’s massive scaling startups build a platform for others to create and exchange value. Some of the examples are social media, the Internet of Things, cryptocurrency, and more. Yet, most platform ideas fail due to a lack of proper understanding of the business design and growth strategies. Pick this book for: Platform Scale not only writes down a structured approach to designing and scaling a platform business model, but it also addresses the key aspects that can succeed or fail businesses through six core concepts. Goodreads Rating: 4.23/5 (415 ratings) 10. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary Fact-based, authoritative, ‘Platform Revolution’ is the first of its kind of “owner’s manual” for successfully creating a platform business model. It explains various ways for newbies to identify prime markets and monetize the network. It reveals strategies behind the upcoming business platforms to current business leaders and explains how traditional organizations can adapt to the change. Pick this book for: Besides discussing regulation, security, and consumer trust and examining markets that may be mature for a platform revolution, the book explains the bright prospect of platforms. It shows how they will change the careers and lives of millions forever. Goodreads Rating: 4.13/5 (2,845 ratings) 11. Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson Platforms like Google, Amazon, Snapchat are game-changers. Rather than making things, these platforms create value by connecting people and dominating everyone’s daily lives worldwide. Mobile computing has transformed how we interact and blend the physical and digital worlds. While these enterprises are expanding their influence from the digital world to the entire economy, just a few individuals genuinely grasp this radical structural shift. Pick this book for: In ‘Modern Monopoly,’ the authors explain what has changed, how it affects today’s organizations, and how business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers can adapt and succeed in the new era. Goodreads Rating: 4.08/5 (585 ratings) 12. Edge: Value-Driven Digital Transformation by Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu, David Robinson In ‘Edge,’ the authors talk about the fast, adaptive, value-driven, iterative, lightweight, and powerful new operating model that helps achieve continuous innovation by closing the gap between digital strategy and execution. ‘Edge’ addresses three critical aspects, i.e., working together among the criticality of vital and rapid responses, allocation and tracking business investment funds for their goal and vision-based initiatives, and ways of rapid adaptation to thrive Agile. Pick this book for: The book delivers practical insights leveraging its authors’ unparalleled experience and pioneering clients. Goodreads Rating: 4.38/5 (42 ratings) 13. IT Strategy: A 3-Dimensional Framework to Plan Your Digital Transformation and Deliver Value to Your Enterprise by Jim Maholic With over a dozen IT executives and CIOs’ interviews, the book lays out the process from a blank whiteboard to an all-inclusive IT Strategy. ‘IT Strategy’ illustrates a range of technical and non-technical topics to facilitate readers to devise a road map to their desired future state and repeatedly emphasize the alignment of IT Strategic Planning with central business key performance measures and strategic business planning. Pick this book for: With 25+ years of IT Strategist stint, Jim Maholic has consulted with many reputed and largest enterprises in North and South America. He leverages his expertise to deliver a notably thorough and consistently precise guide in ‘IT Strategy.’ Goodreads Rating: 4.86/5 (7 ratings) 14. 77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation by Jace An ’77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation’ is a practical field book that explains the proven digital capabilities as the fundamental digital transformation blocks. It discusses the approach to assessing and enhancing digital capabilities for achieving successful digital transformation and is ideal for digital practitioners such as IT professionals, sales reps, marketers, digital planners, and digital consultants. The book consists of 12 mega capabilities (set of capabilities) and 77 capabilities. Pick this book for: The book serves as a ready-made yet highly customizable solution for those organizations that find it challenging to establish a robust and agile framework for their digital operations. Goodreads Rating: 4.83/5 (6 ratings) 15. Mastering Digital Business: How powerful combinations of disruptive technologies are enabling the next wave of digital transformation by Nicholas D. Evans ‘Mastering Digital Business’ serves as a strategic guide for IT and business executives. Today, mobile, cloud, intelligent automation, IoT, social, analytics, wearables, and robotics are some of the most disruptive technologies. Pick this book for: The author talks about how we can leverage these technology combinations and mastery in digital services, platform business models, and leading practices in corporate innovation to create and execute our digital strategies for competitive advantage. Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 (14 ratings) 16. The Digital Matrix: New Rules for Business Transformation Through Technology by Venkat Venkatraman The book helps its readers understand the types of players forming the new business landscape, the transformations that every business will experience, and the winning moves to ensure your organization’s success. Pick this book for: It helps you learn to navigate the digital ecosystem world, discover how you can compete and collaborate with other organizations for creating and capturing value, realize how robust machines can maximize your organization’s human talent, and learn to assemble the team to experiment with new ideas, reassess your core beliefs, and reinvent your business strategy for the digital future. It explains how to rethink your business model, assemble the right team, and make bold strategic choices to harness digital technology. Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 (14 ratings) 17. Agile Transformation: Structures, Processes, and Mindsets for the Digital Age by Neil Perkin ‘Agile Transformation’ offers practical advice and covers everything, including the need for new operating models, ways to apply agile principles at scale, how to leverage digital-native processes, and why change managers should think big but start small. Pick this book for: It discusses tackling the staff mindset that can hinder agile adoption, create and engage high-performing teams for change, and why a plan of starting an agile business need not fail. Featuring case studies from organizations including Amazon, Netflix, and Vodafone, this book is vital for businesses to compete in the new world of work effectively. Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5 (12 ratings) 18. The Transformation Files: 17 Insights to Inspire Managers and Leaders in the Transformation of a Digital Economy Business by Rob Llewellyn ‘The Transformation Files’ is a collection of critical success factors that every leader should focus on during digital transformation adoption. Rob leverages his two decades of experience in 30+ countries to help some globally renowned firms generate commercial value from people. Pick this book for: This knowledgeable and easy to read book is backed by relevant work experience and offers practicality to start applying the guidelines and insights immediately. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (6 ratings) 19. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler ‘The Future is Faster than You think’ investigates the impact of rapid technology acceleration on both our society and daily life. The book offers a prescient look at our impending future. Pick this book for: The book explores the convergence of digital technologies and their revolutionizing impact on today's legacy industries and their impact on our daily activities such as governing our nation, raising kids, or caring for our planet. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (6 ratings) 20. The Industries of the Future by Alec J. Ross In the book, Ross distills his observations on the forces that are changing the world. Backed by nearly a million miles of travel to forty-one countries as Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor for Innovation, Ross emphasizes the best opportunities for progress and discusses how countries thrive or sputter. Pick this book for: The book explains the ways we will need to adapt. Ross offers a vivid and informed perspective on how sweeping global trends affect how we live in today and the future. Ross examines the particular fields that will form our economic future over the next decade, including the impact of digital technology, robotics, the commercialization of genomics, artificial intelligence, and cybercrime. Goodreads Rating: 4.04/5 (6,868 ratings) Conclusion The above books discuss how digital transformation has affected practically every industry and every aspect of a business. They provide multifaceted solutions that offer insights on innovation and agility, helping companies achieve increased revenue and much-needed sustainability in today’s competitive marketplace. Do you have more book recommendations to add? Feel free to drop in a message and we will review it.
Choosing the right SaaS tool can be challenging as there are many tools out there in the market for every need, and based on your requirements and preferences, you have to see which is best for you.