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Need help in budgeting IT time, money

By storch ·
Hi Folks,

Excuse my ignorance of not even knowing which discussion to post this to.

I need some help and hope you can either offer some suggestions from your personal experience or direct me to sites where I may research the topic.

I work for a medium sized non-profit enterprise that essentially does not believe in having an IT department. We have a bandaided LAN of PCs, Macs, some of which is pretty much of a mess.

There is one, ONE poor guy that inherited the mess and now he has our new VoIP phone system to deal with too. He has way too much work to do and way too little salary for his efforts.

My department has about 25 employees. I take care of our part of the LAN, our hardware, and our software. I was not trained as an IT person and actually I have two other hats I wear at work. I inherited the computer tech role in my department as I have the most knowledge, experience and mainly I have the interest and desire to deal with the machines whereas no one else does.

My problem is that my attempts to be allocated at least a minimum amount of hours a week to do maintenance and solve problems has pretty much fallen on deaf ears.

Most of the folks here have the naive notion that computers should run perfectly all the time without any care and are incredibly shocked that a new computer would have any problems at all - let alone our old ones.

But enough of my whining. What I want to know is what is the rule of thumb for calculating either percent of a company's budget for IT or some method of calculating hours per week per machine - or whatever. I know the information is out there, I just don't know where to start looking.

I need to present some justification to my bosses as to why they should spend money on preventative maintenance and how much they should spend.

I would be extremely grateful for any suggestions you can give me.

Thanks so much,

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Long term picture

by ITdesperado In reply to Need help in budgeting IT ...

Try showing them the long term savings and scare the crap out of them about the amount of data loss should everything crash from poor equipment and lack of maintenance time.

If you have a boss who thinks of themselves as some sort of computer whiz, work on that person because they tend to agree with anyone who knows what they are talking about simply to save face.

One budget idea is to allocate x-amount of dollars per month to IT and that sum is accumulated over time. So if they allow 200 per month, 50 of it gets used this month, the remaining 150 rolls over to the next 200 making it 350 and over time it adds up. Hit them with a small figure first, get them warmed up to it, propose that the one guy who's doing it all now becomes their IT manager, supervisor, co-ordinator (whatever makes them happy) and if there are more people such as yourself with enough skill in each department, they can look after that area and report to that guy. He gets time to focus on priorty tasks while other "helpers" look after the minor tasks.

This way there's no extra wages to pay out as the staff are already on hand (biggest advantage of idea). The only extra cost is a small (for now) budget that can build up over time saving huge immediate costs on failed equipment.

Propose a trial period for say...3 months, and in that time record every thing that occurs from better staff work as network & computers are running smooth right down to ANY improvements and present the case again at the end of the trial period. If successful, over time make a request for a little extra toward the IT budget.

Just a thought :)

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by rob mekel In reply to Need help in budgeting IT ...
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by rob mekel In reply to Need help in budgeting IT ...

There are some rule of thumb calcs on what is spend on IT.

Average is 3%-8% of the company's turn-a-round. And more if your company is an innovating one. This includes (small) development and maintaining the installed base.

Further more there are some figures on managing your IT-systems(not development),
1 - 2 IT employees on 50 - 80 user-systems with 5 - 10 servers
2 - 3 IT employees on 70 - 120 user-systems with 10 - 15 servers
3 - 5 It employees on 200 - 300 user-systems with 20 - 40 servers
This with a homogeneous installed computer/software base and not to exotic software.
A lot depends on how your systems are installed.

Those figures did work for me in the past and still do.

Gartner, IDC or other IT-researchers have more accurate figures on this. I don't know if TR has them.


edited for some irritating typo

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Somewhat Different Numbers

by jdmercha In reply to average

If you only have 80 people, why the heck do you need 5 or more servers? I don't disagree with your numbers, I just look at them differently.

If you have 75 computers you need 1 computer tech.
If you have 150 computers 1 tech should be able to keep them running, but won't have time for anything else. This assumes they are all similar, less than 4 years old, run the same OS, and only use basic apps.
Each server counts as about 8 computers. Thus 1 person should be able to administer about 20 like servers. Again assuming they are providing basic services.

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