3 must-have calculator tools for the tech professional

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Whether you need to calculate the cost of downtime or a new IT project, these TechRepublic Premium calculators can help you prepare for whatever comes next.

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Image: iStock/Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn

"Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes." Zig Ziglar, the late salesman, author and motivational speaker extraordinaire, had a point. In both business and technology, you must always be prepared for whatever comes — and do what you must to take advantage of it.

This is especially true when it comes to your IT budget. Things can change at any moment. Back in early 2019, none of us was prepared for the months ahead. None of us was aware that a global pandemic would wreak havoc on our world and threaten our businesses. And many IT departments were unaware that an immediate need for more resources was on the horizon.

While many organizations rapidly decreased their budgets, IT budgets remained the same. In fact, the experts at Deloitte Insights observed flat and increasing technology budgets in most organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

While this fact may come as a surprise for some, for smart IT professionals, the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for improved tech infrastructure. Businesses needed remote work capabilities that protected collaboration and productivity. They needed to deliver online experiences to their customers that mirrored the in-store shopping experience.

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Innovation was no longer a choice but a necessity.

Now, IT budgets keep increasing to capitalize on the hard lessons learned with the arrival of the pandemic. For example, government IT spending is set to increase by 6.5% in 2022. And worldwide IT spending across the board will increase by 5.5% in 2022, according to Gartner.

Whether your IT department is increasing its budget to make room for further innovation or waiting to see what happens next, one thing is for sure: You must be prepared for anything and everything. This means keeping a close eye on potential expenses and costs and developing a plan that accounts for both the best and the worst scenarios.

Below, you'll find three TechRepublic Premium calculators that can help you calculate everything from system downtime expenses to computer hardware depreciation.

Systems Downtime Expense Calculator

It's no secret that businesses depend on computer systems. All critical business tasks require computer connectivity, whether that's speaking to customers or fulfilling product orders. When computer systems don't work, business stops, which can seriously harm your bottom line.

For several years, Gartner has said that businesses stand to lose an average of $5,600 for each minute of downtime. However, this number could be much more or much less, depending on your business.

The best way to understand the cost of downtime for your organization is to use this TechRepublic Premium calculator. It's designed to help you evaluate the cost of downtime based on the reliance of your business on certain key systems.

This calculator also includes an Assumptions tab, which allows you to see which job categories will suffer the most from key system outages. Using this calculator, you can calculate the amount of resources you'll need to bounce back if the worst should occur.

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IT Project Cost/Benefit Calculator

Digital transformation is costly. And although budgets are increasing, organizations must still be selective in the IT projects they tackle. One of the key factors involved in determining which projects move forward is cost/benefit analysis. And unfortunately, this is one of the most challenging professional tasks.

Effective analysis requires expertise in planning and executing IT projects, developing accurate budgets and understanding how costs and benefits change during the lifecycle of a project. Our calculator can help.

This calculator allows you to list and calculate the actual expenses associated with your tech projects. It includes sections for collecting year-one costs as well as second- and third-year expenses. Plus, tabs are provided for listing and estimating a project's cost savings and revenue opportunities.

Once all tabs are filled, the calculator will automatically calculate the project's overall cost and benefit total, so you can make an informed decision.

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Computer Hardware Depreciation Calculator

Every department must account for depreciation when it comes to finances. This is especially true for IT departments that manage laptops, servers, mobile devices and more.

Why? You must account for depreciation to determine true profit and use depreciation values on your tax returns. Plus, depreciation helps give you a clear understanding of when it's the right time to purchase new equipment.

How do you calculate the depreciation of your assets? That depends on timing and other factors. This calculator can help you calculate standard depreciation using various methods, including:

  • 200% Declining Balance (DDB)
  • 150% Declining Balance
  • Straight Line
  • MACRS General (Federal Tax)
  • Alternative Method (Federal Tax)
  • Section 179 Deduction (Federal Tax)
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