San Jose, CA (PRWEB) January 7, 2008
With 2008 fast approaching, there's no better time than the present to ensure that companies' upcoming information technology (IT) goals are clear, targeted and aligned to produce expected business results for your company. This includes establishing aggressive budgeting guidelines based on average product life expectancy.
Intelligent Network Services, Inc. (INS) is a San Jose-based technology firm that strives to help its clients implement sound IT budget plans that are clearly aligned with their company goals. The company also works hand-in-hand with its clients to lay the appropriate foundation for profitable growth and increased productivity.
With companies depending upon computer technology now more than ever, you must make certain your system remains an efficient tool for your company. INS founder, Tom Burns, recommends a company's IT budget always be aligned with the strategic demands of the business. This guides companies to budget appropriately when it comes to meeting IT goals. "I recommend companies budget to replace both hardware and software every three years. Generally, computers and servers can last anywhere from four to five years, but in order to establish a realistic monthly budget, you should assume a three year product lifecycle."
INS client and accountant, Monica Bailey of Monica Bailey & Associates, states, "Companies can also take a more accelerated rate than typical depreciation on these types of assets. And, accounting software should be budgeted on an annual basis and kept current."
In order to effectively budget costs in relation to hardware, software and installation, you would need the total costs of all hardware and software your company is currently using. Include a Labor cost projection of $2000 per server and $250 per workstation. Total up all costs and divide this number by 36 months and this results in your monthly costs for hardware, software and installation budget.
To budget the costs associated with IT support, INS recommends to allocate approximately 20 minutes of support per computer each month. This includes the workstations and network servers. Some workstations will not need support each month, but it is best to average this amount monthly and also yearly.
"The best way to budget IT support costs is to take the previous year's total IT costs and add 10 percent," adds Bailey. "The 10 percent variance gives you an overall budget from year to date with ample room for cost increase."
INS also strongly recommends companies separate the monthly costs from the yearly or one-time costs versus putting all costs into one total. By separating these costs, you will be able to get a true projected budget on monthly operating costs in comparison to the one-time costs which are not recurring monthly.
INS provides IT support based on the following levels:
Level I -- Monthly Service Contract
This consists of a reduced hourly rate service contract and is the best overall option for customers.
Level II -- Block Time
Clients can purchase a block of time to ensure they receive priority IT support.
Level III -- As Needed
Clients pay an hourly rate based on each support visit, phone call, and additional services such as the remote monitoring service.
INS recommends the monthly service contract for its customers and sees this as a valuable option for its customers. "We offer a service contract that helps with, among other things, the monthly billing," stated Tom Burns, owner of INS. "Rather than receiving a bill from us each time we service your network, you prepay your account for a set amount of monthly hours. If you don't use the hours, you can roll the unused minutes over to the next month. If a client should exceed these monthly minutes, they would pay an overage. This allows you to typically receive one monthly bill from us unless you should go over your prepaid hours. We will provide you with a monthly report showing total hours used along with a copy of each work order. We also include our remote monitoring services for servers at no additional cost."
Now is the perfect time to evaluate if your employees have the equipment needed in order to perform their jobs effectively. Verify if all employee systems have the most recent software upgrades, particularly anti-virus programs to ensure the safekeeping of important company data. Also evaluate desktop systems to ensure your employees have the necessary tools needed in order to do their jobs.
Ultimately, IT budgets should focus on spending that helps employees serve customers more effectively and makes the company gain and retain operational excellence.
Thomas Burns is the founder of Intelligent Network Services, Inc. (INS), a San Francisco Bay Area IT support company that caters to small to mid-sized companies in designing and maintaining their IT systems to ensure their day to day business operations are not interrupted. Part of the service they provide to clients is the installation and monitoring of remote connectivity systems and security systems. For more information, visit http://www.intelligentns.com, or call 408.260.1601.
The UpLevel Agency
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