President’s Letter – If it is July, it must be Budget Planning Season

By Barbara Rembiesa, President & CEO of IAITAM

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If you aren’t involved in budget planning, then you probably underestimate how long it actually takes.  Despite everyone’s best efforts to create dashboards, status updates and monthly reports, there is more to do before budgets can be finalized.  While organizations have their own budget cycles, quite a few organizations are heavily into the budget planning phase in July, in anticipation of a budget by the fall or end of the calendar year.

Your role with budgeting may be different than a peer in another organization.  For instance, an IT Asset Manager might produce reports as part of budget research for other departments.  A Software Asset Manager might manage a budget for specific portfolios of software, depending on the financial and managerial models that the organization has in place.  Regardless of your specific role in budgeting, we are responsible for how IT Asset Management is viewed by the CIO, the CFO and all of the other executives leading teams that use IT services.   Unless presented with information about the value delivered as well as the costs of executing the management of assets, executives are left to draw their conclusions without sufficient information.

Consider these basic steps to help you focus on not only what to deliver, but how:

1.  IT people frequently have trouble communicating with the business.  Step in and use what you have learned about other departments to help close the gap.  Keep the geek speak out of the way if at all possible.  (Sometimes, software licensing and hardware configurations just have to be explored…)

2. For those certified in Software Asset Management and Hardware Asset Management, remember that Program Success Report that is recommended?  Convert project work into an appropriate financial representation, good or bad.  Give yourself permission to build measurements over time and incorporate those measurements into value representations (ROI, TCO) for ITAM.

3. Gain support from project stakeholders and other managers as appropriate BEFORE submitting your reports to executive management.  Certainly, if you have a boss who is the one in the budget meeting, explain the conclusions and give supporting documentation to your boss before the meetings begin.

4. Be aware that changes in accounting standards and legislation governance that impacts financial accountability can alter how the budget process is conducted.

5. Make sure that the scope of what you are being asked to report on is appropriate.  For instance, if you took over mobile this year, don’t wait to be asked to update your reported information.  If your required reports are limited to internal IT, change that immediately and include external cloud categories.

Good luck!

About Barbara Rembiesa

As President and Co-founder of IAITAM, Barbara brings over a quarter century of industry knowledge and experience to the management of IAITAM, and provides key guidance and the entrepreneurial spirit to its staff and members.