I have been asked to plan my budget now for the rest of the financial year and I was hoping some of you could help me a bit!
I have created a spreadsheet with all of last years costs in different categories but i fear I may have missed some bits out, here are my categories so far...
Inks and Paper
Authority Support including web feed
Web filtering/ e-safety
I'm also concerend that there may be a better way to do this especially if i am going to be doing it every year. Can anyone suggest either some sort of pre defined template or software to help with this?
You really need to be taking a greater overall view of where IT is currently within the school and where you/SMT/Governors want it to be. You'll need to be looking at ensuring that you have a refresh cycle for equipment that you can realistically work with, and planning for future projects and development work. Your initial plan should be for several years so you can show where it's going - but remember that all future years planning is only an indication of what you see being done/needed. I wouldn't expect it to be anything like you projected when it actually comes around ;)
I'd probably split a few of those categories up. Licenses - what licenses are we talking about? MS, Adobe, Anti-Virus, AN Other? In our budget big spends like MS licenses get there own headings so that people can see just what we're spending each year. Hardware - once again I'd break down into Laptops/Desktops/Thin Clients/Servers/Storage/Backup/Network Infrastructure/Network Cabling etc. All of those will likely have different priorities, different refresh cycles etc. It's a lot easier when you've sat down split things into much smaller categories and allocated what you feel is needed to be spent on those areas to then go back through with someone and go "Ok, we can cut a bit from there by doing this but there's no way we can really spend less in that area because of x".
I hope that helps a little :)
I am trying to get a feel for last yeasr spend and extrapolate from there. I have been given the job at very short notice so I am trying to buy as much time as I can before handing it in. I'll try to keep it going from then on in to the future.
Well it took me over a year to put together our budget - but then again I was working from no previous records. Having to go through expenditure by my predecessors and try and figure out what everything was wasn't fun!
Still the budget is finally done and going before the Governors this evening so fingers crossed! Let me know if you need to know anything else :)
I recently did the same thing as you and had very little to work with as this was the first time IT had a budget.
In my budget I had a misc. category for random things like Ethernet cables, power adapters, replacement parts, etc. You might also want to put in a category for any support contracts you have.
I'd also try and avoid having ink and paper under your budget unless IT is the one doing the consumption of those supplies. It's better that the departments or whoever it is that does the actual consumption of the paper and ink budget it under their respective budget. IMO, it's a bit of a hassle to manage other people's consumption of supplies under your budget.
I agree with the other poster that you should have a multi-year outlook on IT budget. You need to account for hardware refreshes and planned infrastructure upgrades that don't happen every year. Unfortunately, I did not plan that far ahead as this was the first time I had done a budget request. However, since we're a small school it's not as critical for me.
As above, it'll go well, if your budget is being broken down into cost centres, it'll get a bit complicated if you need to move money around! I did a 10 year plan when i got my first NM job, I believe they're still working from it with a few tweaks here and there! I guess the best pointer is don't be too specific keep it as general (but justifiable) as possible. Licences and support costs keep in there own pots, if you need to break them down for SMT/Goveners etc just show what makes up the figure, show your working, as the teachers always say!
The main headers I have in my Budgeting spreasheet are:
Workstations - Library
Servers \ HP
Toner Cartridges \ Drums \ Fusers
New Thin Client Alternative
They don't all have figures for them, we don't need to do anything for the VM Servers this year, so this is £0 (but next year it will have some money by it, as I'll probably want to increase the RAM). The HP servers are the old ones I have retasked.
There's a few things like "Workstations - Library" which is an alternative to the "thin client" we want to introduce. The "cabling audit" is because I want to pay someone to come in and work out where all the cables go from/via/to, and relabel them all, and we have about 1500 sockets, and I'd say only half are in use.
There's also a further "repairs and maintenance" which is just a 10% of the above figures, which is usually enough to give me leeway when someone makes me buy Adobe Master Collection...
I map the purchases upto the codes that Finance use, so it's easy for them.