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Develop and Manage Your Infrastructure and Operations Budget

Make your budget strategic, not transactional, to build trust and credibility.

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Contributors

  • Peter Malloy, CIO, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene
  • Trevor Butler, General Manager, Information Technology, City of Lethbridge
  • Donny Shimamoto, Founder and Managing Director, IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC
  • 5 anonymous contributors

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Your Challenge

  • The importance of infrastructure and operations initiatives can be difficult to understand, even for other members of the IT team.
  • Each budget discussion feels like a battle to get as much money as you can.
  • You end up feeling like you’re expected to accomplish way more than you’ve been given the budget to do.
  • The budgeting process is frustrating and can feel like a waste of time.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Budgeting is more than just a numbers game. What isn’t measured can’t be managed and hiding behind padded numbers isn’t going to help you in the long run.
  • Important infrastructure discussions are often put on the backburner. Leverage budgeting as a tool to talk about strategic issues and overcome disinterest.
  • Know your audience. Be prepared with a narrative of how your budgeting decisions will impact business operations.

Impact and Result

  • Begin by understanding business priorities for the upcoming year and develop your budget according to their needs.
  • Articulate how infrastructure and operations initiatives and projects support business operations and priorities. Know your audience and help them understand the implications of not implementing certain planned initiatives.
  • Let the CIO or business management know if you cannot meet all your objectives with the given budget. Clarify what you can realistically achieve and provide management options for how to proceed. They should be driving strategic decisions.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should tackle your infrastructure and operations budgeting process today. Review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Assess and prioritize IT and business needs

List and prioritize capital projects based on the infrastructure roadmap and current business environment.

3. Manage the budget and drive continuous improvement

Track the budget and actively improve your budgeting processes.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Assess business and IT needs

Call #1 - Discuss changes to the IT and business environment for the upcoming year.
Call #2 - Review upcoming IT projects and develop project prioritization criteria.
Call #3 - Review the prioritized budget items.

Guided Implementation #2 - Develop the budget and obtain approval

Call #1 - Review your budget.
Call #2 - Review the budget presentation and proposal.

Guided Implementation #3 - Manage the budget

Call #1 - Discuss and review budget variances.
Call #2 - Measure project success.

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Module 1: Assess the Current Environment

The Purpose

  • Assess the current business environment.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identify the likely impact on IT infrastructure.

Outputs

Activities:

1.1

Perform environmental analysis.

  • PEST analysis
  • Competitive analysis
1.2

Review business initiatives and priorities.

  • List of upcoming business initiatives and projects

Module 2: Identify and Prioritize Capital Projects

The Purpose

  • Rank-order upcoming capital projects by priority.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create an ordered list of recommended infrastructure and operations projects for the upcoming year.

Outputs

Activities:

2.1

Incorporate IT projects and initiatives on your roadmap in the capital planning process.

  • Schedule of recommended projects
2.2

Create a capital project worksheet.

  • Completed capital worksheet
2.3

Develop and apply scoring criteria for capital projects.

  • Prioritized capital projects
  • Capital budget draft completed

Module 3: Develop the Operating Budget

The Purpose

  • Develop your operating budget and identify potential efficiencies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create the infrastructure and operations operating budget.

Outputs

Activities:

3.1

Conduct zero-based budgeting activities for a single account.

  • Account inefficiencies identified
3.2

Build the operating budget for your group.

  • Operating budget draft completed

Module 4: Drive Ongoing Improvement

The Purpose

  • Improve the budget process in a structured, repeatable way with input from the Infrastructure and Operations team.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Build a plan for continuous improvement.

Outputs

Activities:

4.1

Review your variance reporting practices.

  • Deliver, review, and action variance reports
4.2

Run a hotwash with your team to identify possible improvements.

  • Create an action list to improve your budgeting processes