Anyone who works for a large organization knows that July isn’t just a time for fireworks and BBQs. It’s also when you plan your budget for the next fiscal year.
If you work in IT, you know you’re always expected to have an answer for everything. But when it comes to planning your budget, there are really only two questions that need to be asked.
- Do you have enough resources on hand for the next fiscal year?
- How much do you need to invest to accommodate for expected capacity?
Here’s how to get the answers to these capacity planning questions.
1. Plan Your Budget
First things first, determine if your current operating budget is big enough to accommodate potential growth and demand.
You might find out that your future IT operating costs will exceed your budget. If that’s the case, make sure you’re clear on how much more the company will need to invest and what the investment is for.
This is also the time to assess operational efficiency—and root out any weaknesses.
Here are some starting questions to understand if your IT is proactive or reactive:
Are you reacting to problems or solving them before they start?
Are your system’s resources being managed effectively?
Optimizing your infrastructure now will save your company money later. But you’ll have to present a strong case for that initial investment when it comes time to put the budget together.
2. Collaborate Across Your Company
Within a successful organization, no department can be an island. Creating a budget is a company-wide effort. And it requires constructive, interdepartmental collaboration and communication.
If each department created a budget separately and then tried to put it all together, the pieces would never fit.
An IT department can’t possibly lay out a realistic budget without first speaking to the people who actually work with the applications. That way, they can learn about any potential changes coming—or current areas that might not be functioning properly.
It’s also important to talk to salespeople and executives to get a better idea of customer growth and consumer trends. These two factors will have a direct impact on things like throughput and response time.
For an IT department, building a capable and adaptable infrastructure demands a clear understanding of what each individual piece of your company needs in order to function properly and drive business forward. That’s hard to do if you don’t know what’s going on outside your cubicle.
3. Make Your Capacity Planning Template
The key to creating a solid budget is having the ability to collect and incorporate all of these variables into your capacity planning strategy.
And that means making your capacity planning template. A capacity planning template will help you go through the list of information required to plan for capacity in the coming year.