If you’re considering updating your business communications system, you aren’t alone. Gartner forecasts a 2.4% rise in global spending on communications technology in 2023, contributing to a predicted 5.1% IT market increase overall.
Before you start shopping around, you should gain a clear understanding of your company’s needs and how much you can spend. From cloud-based collaboration tools to unified communications as a service (UCaaS), many options are available to improve your communications – which is why examining your spending is critical. Here are three steps you can take to make planning your communications technology budget easier.
Establish Baseline Spending
Before you can plan your budget for the year ahead, you’ll need to assess how you’ve spent money in the past. Gather bills and invoices to build a report that details how much your organization spent on:
- Recurring expenses, such as fixed line services for voice and data, phone system maintenance and licensing fees, and cloud-based services like Zoom, Office 365, and Google G-Suite.
- Recurring overhead costs, such as fees for professional consultants and salaries for employees maintaining your communications technology.
- Non-recurring expenses, such as installation charges, late fees, or early termination penalties.
By obtaining this data, you can more easily estimate your monthly recurring expenses for the upcoming year.
Once you’ve established your baseline spending, consider what changes you’re likely to encounter in the upcoming months that may affect expenditures. A few factors that could affect your business communications spending include:
- Discontinued support for legacy systems (e.g., copper-based telephone infrastructures) since moving to a cloud-based solution will change your monthly costs.
- Branch locations closing or new offices opening, as you may encounter hefty one-time charges for early termination or equipment installation.
- Changes to hybrid, remote, and return-to-work policies, which can impact spending on video conferencing, mobile applications, seat licensing, and more.
- Taxes and surcharges that increase each year, such as those for the Universal Service Fund (USF) and other state wireless tax programs.
After determining the factors that might impact your communications budget in the year ahead, research and add these costs to your estimated recurring monthly expenses. The resulting total should give you a good idea of what your annual budget for communications technology should be.
Now that you have your communications technology budget planned for the year, it’s time to focus on building relationships with the people who have the final say on your organization’s spending. Start by talking with financial officers to develop a better understanding of your company’s approach to budgeting. You can also cultivate a relationship with the finance department and plan quarterly meetings to track how well you’re sticking to the budget and where you might need to make changes.
If you need help planning your communications technology budget or finding a best-fit UCaaS system to grow your business in 2023, eXemplify can help. We’ll work through our six-step process to ensure you get powerful cloud-based solutions that meet your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more.