13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2013 11:56 AM by ecklerwr1

    Getting buy-in from non-IT management


      Most businesses are not in IT.  They consider Information Technology to be a supporting player in the bottom line driving activities of the business and along with that, in most cases, a cost center.  In this regard the IT organization needs to be creative in the way it does just about everything that may affect the bottom line.  The general day to day get it done doesn’t really bother the business too much as long as the work is getting done and the fires stay under control.


      When it comes to expenditure for things like more spindles or enclosures, where does this fall in your organization?  Most companies provide budgets for IT expenses, much like any other area of the company, but some do not, lumping it with general overhead or if you are lucky (or maybe unlucky) using chargebacks to the departments that use IT.  Who do you work with to get the spending done and what type of information do you need to provide to get it done?


      This seems to be a bit different at every company, but always something that goes one way or the other without much in between.  In many ways, I would think that is a good thing as sitting in the middle might not get much of anything accomplished, depending on the type of business you’re in.


      *Reply to this post to earn 50 points and 1 entry to win an iPod Nano

        • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

          We charge the depts that use the resources for spindles/enclosures.   We wait for big projects to come along to add host servers to our VMware environment, the VDI project got us large increases in memory for our host servers, etc.  Without the big projects and OPB (other people's budgets) we would, as you say, not get much of anything accomplised.


          The one thing that we do lack is budget for proper training throughout the year.  It would be nice to go to a tradeshow (TechEd, VMWorld, etc.) or two throughout the year plus have a training or two for each of our admins, plus our PC techs, but we just don't have the budget for it and are lucky if one or two of us attend one training in a year (forget tradeshows).  It's a good thing that a lot of vendors put on "free" mini-tradeshows throughout the year. We definitely take advantage of those.

          • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

            Budgeted typically means if we can when you ask again, we will consider it more.   We have a very tight budget and although money is initially set aside you have to spend based on how its broken out for the year. Having some control is a given but we have to stick to budget by month and year which is very challenging.   I don't do a good job there.  to be fair i wasn't in the meetings that set apart the funds for this year either. 

            • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

              We have a budget that is setup for the upcoming year, we submit what we want, and they mark off what we can and can't have. However, sometimes we have projects or implementations that benefit other groups and they have pitched in for hardware/support/etc.... It's kind of a pain, but overall it is needed to keep one department from spending all of IT's budget.

              • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                We do our budgeting about 4 months in advance of the fiscal year.  We try to get other departments to submit their IT related projects to us so we can help budget.  About 2 months out items get cut.  At the start of the year all heck breaks loose as other departments start requesting projects that IT wasn't made aware of 4 months ago and we scramble to accommodate.  Wait 8 months, rinse and repeat.

                • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                  Our biggest issue with getting buy in from non it management is most of our it managament is filled with non it managers.  we have the crazy concept that good managers can manage anything.  Which is great until they have to make the business justification for expenditures, implimentation or standards.  In our world, operations and sales drive the boat on all decisions and it on gets to get buy in when something breaks, is not there on time, or audit issues.

                  • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                    As a managed service provider getting budget for customer focused technical gear and licenses isn't generally a problem as it's included as part of the customer project budget.  When it comes to internal purchases, it's required that they are tied to management approved projects and/or the entire technical team has buy-in; generally this process seems to work well by both getting us the things we need while keeping frivolous spending to a minimum.

                    • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                      We have our general budget which keeps the lights on. Then when a project gets spun up to support the business directly we have a business steering committee that we meet with once a month to describe to them why we need money and for what. They will weight the costs and risks, and assign expenses to the different business units that will benefit from the project. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but if something happens becuase they accepted the risk well its not counted against IT and funding usually follows.

                      • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                        We have our general network budget that we use for upgrades and equipment refresh, as well as tools and other network related projects.  Most often though, our tasks are funded through outside project budgets and service initiatives.  The most mind boggling thing to me is that, we use a hot potato method on non-project purchases.  If a data closet needs a patch panel / switch, whomever makes the request for additional capacity usually foots the bill.  So if a project needs 3 switchports, and there are only 2 available, they either make do (most often) or they buy an entire new switch (less often). 


                        Some departments try to re-purpose things, hoping that they can make it work until IT pays for it to be refreshed... but that gets denied most of the time. 

                        • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                          We get the most budget for building new sites.  Once management can see the performance benefits the new hardware displayed at the new site then it is a little easier to rangle a budget for additional IT equipment when they have to do remodeling at another site.

                          • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                            I wish we did charge backs. Unfortunately our Developers rule the roost around here. We get requirements after the fact and if we don't have the hardware to support, we have to purchase it or scrounge for it. If we purchase it, it come's out of our Network Budget.

                            • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                              My former employer was an accounting firm that we were a division of.  All of our IT expenditures were charged back to the appropriate locations.  Each site paid a monthly fee for monitoring and NOC services.


                              My current organization it doesn't work like that.  This does cause several more challenges in my opinion however in my current role quite frankly it's not my issue .

                              • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                                I'm lucky in that I just moved to an IT company, so budget isn't really a concern anymore. However, my last job was full of MOUs with customers that simply refused to pay. All of the customers were internal, so we still had to support them while trying to keep up with technology. It's never fun when you are building a new rack and have to decide between redundant servers or redundant power. :-(

                                • Re: Getting buy-in from non-IT management

                                  Chargeback is tricky but evolving... We have the companies main assets everyone shares and individual projects and even business units have specific things charged to them based on need.  Virtualization has opened up some challenges but overall it's been working... Currently unless there's a business justification for physical hardware or we'll say special security requirements... everything gets virtual.