Forward thinking is key to budget lock-in

For Ausco Building Systems business systems manager Ian Mascord, securing funding for the year ahead is all about the ability to demonstrate forward thinking.

“I think if our IT department sat around all day and did not take initiatives like this sort of planning, it would be hard to prove the worth of IT to the business,” Mascord said.

This time of year also inspires IT managers to consider where they should be spending money, and where they should be saving.

Mascord says he has seen several changes over the past few years, such as the business turning to limited outsourcing and reliance on ERP vendors in order to cut costs.

“Our service agreement with ERP vendors, and support issues with them still tends to be expensive; and there's also keeping software current,” Mascord said.

“I think the hidden costs occur when machines run down, and businesses don’t update them.”

Eventually, compliance and governance will have to be addressed, he said, and this will require cash.

“[Some] just think it’s a big airy-fairy IT world, they don’t place any real value in issues like storage of information compliance, they simply think that storage space is never ending,” Mascord said.

And Mascord’s IT wish list for the coming year?

“We’re looking at RFID technology for asset management, and also at e-commerce work to help customers interact with our business,” Mascord said.

Auto Group IT manager Paul Taylor claims he avoids a lot of problems by simply keeping everything in-house.

“We’re a very small IT department, so basically our funds are our people, so our IT budget isn’t a major concern,” Taylor said.

“We don’t spend money on things like outsourcing, because most of our IT development is done in-house, like new projects with Web development.”

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