Free IT Budget Spreadsheet Template for Architect and Design Firms
Another episode of Design Under Influence is underway!
Today, we’re helping you build your technology budget so that IT can be your competitive advantage as we move in 2021.
In last week’s episode , we gave you an overview of what needs to be included in your budget.
In this episode, we’re digging in to specifics and giving you a free downloadable spreadsheet that can go to work for your firm.
It’s time to prognosticate.
In layman’s terms, we’re here to help you foretell and prophesize future events for your firm through three simple steps.
You can use this spreadsheet as a guide for your business to:
- Work through budgetary items related to your firm
- Get step-by-step instructions on how to enter these items
- Identify investments that will increase productivity in your firm
- Give you the complete picture as to how much your firm will be investing in technology in 2021
Step 1: Set the number of users in the Data Inputs Tab.
Number of users will determine some of the plans laid out in this spreadsheet. The number of users is determined by how many employees are consistently using architecture and design tools and other resources such as Microsoft Office.
Basically, every employee that uses technology in your firm should be included. And don’t worry: you can always go back and change this number.
Step 2: Start with expenses you already know to fill in the Recurring Costs Tab.
These costs will most likely be the same as last year.
In this tab, you can set totals for:
- Software subscriptions
- Software support
- Hardware leases
- Additional services such as internet, online email, anti-virus, managed IT services, etc.
Marketing tools such as HubSpot should also go in this tab, as any technology investments should be included in the IT budget.
Step 3: Consider projects your firm is looking to do this year to improve your technology footprint.
Your firm should ask itself the following questions:
- Do new projects require Capital Expenses in the form of hardware purchases?
- Would your firm benefit from purchasing software outright rather than a subscription-based model?
- Are your ongoing support contracts recurring or one-time costs?
- Which IT resources will be sourced from in-house and where will you have to rely on outside consultants?
Once you have thought through these questions, you can then enter those expenses into the appropriate category in the Capital Expense or Recurring Costs tabs.
For example, if you are operating on a server that is more than five years old and not giving your firm the performance you desire, you will need to:
- Purchase hardware: ‘Hardware’ section of the Capital Expense Tab
- Purchase softwares and licenses for the new operating system: ‘Software’ section of the Capital Expense Tab
- Update the warranty on this system: ‘Recurring Costs’ Tab
- Consider outsourcing expenses from an IT company for data transfers to new systems: ‘Project Services’ section of Capital Expenses Tab
After you’ve taken these three major but simple steps, your IT budget is ready in the spreadsheet!
The most common struggle with the budgeting process is an inability for firms to think through where their money is being spent.
Dedicating a day or two to budgeting strategy can go a long way in producing a healthy, accurate budget for your firm in 2021.
Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Prepare your firm to use technology as its competitive advantage by using this simple spreadsheet to identify costs!
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Have questions? Feel free to reach out, we’d love to assist you.