Purchasing IT Tools During a Pandemic

Written by Kayla Coco-Stotts on March 21, 2020

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IT professionals everywhere are wondering the same thing: How will I ever get my purchases approved in this market environment? With a global pandemic, a stock market in free fall, and pundits talking about layoffs, many are operating under the assumption that their leadership would deny any spending. 

The truth is that many companies are far from calling a halt on new spending. Organizational leaders are aware they can’t survive a potential recession by stopping all spending. However, they must also keep in mind that any spending must be focused on what’s vitally important; it has to be on resources that will lead to significant organizational progress.

Strategic Purchasing Is a Must

To be successful with a stricter spending model, it’s important for IT leaders to have a clear framework for how they can evaluate investments when considering submitting those for approval. Evaluating spending strategically will not only help IT admins focus their time on the areas of highest value, but organizational leaders will acknowledge and appreciate the strategy behind their finance requests.

An easy way to think about this is to evaluate spending based on future goals, necessary investments, and the return on investment (ROI) of a project. 

Have Clear Goals and Outcomes 

Before proposing that organizational leaders approve funding to a project, it’s important that IT leaders know the clear outcome of what they’re asking for. Can the goals be quantified or specified as clearly as possible so leaders can better understand what the result would be? 

This can often be challenging in IT where many predicted outcomes are centralized on productivity. Unfortunately, in a difficult market environment those answers may not meet the bar for investment. Knowing what outcomes are possible from a project helps leadership see the intentions behind an IT team’s requests. If the projected results don’t match leadership’s vision for the company moving forward, admins can readjust and better align their goals to suit the company as a whole. 

What Investments Are Needed? 

Offering clarity on the time, money, and expertise required to achieve outcomes is also critical. With all resources at a premium, being detailed about what it’s going to take to get something accomplished will be required. 

Accuracy here will matter more than usual. Overshoot the costs and leadership may see it as too much of an investment. Undershoot the potential investment and it may not be believable, or get approved only to meet critical failure later on. 

Keep in mind that projects can be accomplished with minimal cash outlay. Being strategic in how you utilize your time, open source software, and existing budget can help your team get the approval you want.

Is the Return Worth The Effort? 

Often, the million dollar question is focused on whether the effort is worth the outcome. With organizational leaders sifting through so many competing issues and investments, the bar for approval is going to be at an all-time high for many IT departments. 

Does your project move the needle for the organization? Will enough people benefit, will the organization reap significant rewards, or can it be done without a great deal of time/resources and still have major impact? Be sure to clearly communicate these in your proposal, so leadership knows the effort required to succeed in the task you’re proposing.

Once The Strategy Has Been Conveyed

Once organizational leadership understands the intended outcomes, investment, and potential return of a project — and it is approved — IT teams should still focus on optimizing the costs, time, and resources required to accomplish the goal.

For example, adapting your approved projects to suit current needs helps both your team and organization. Right now, leaders are focused on enabling their remote work strategy. Merging your critical projects with today’s need for remote work environments is going to be critical for all existing projects and new purchases. 

Making an impact on a problem organizations are facing across the globe will alleviate pressures leaders are feeling, which can add value to future projects and proposals. In a new world adapting to such massive disruptions, new technologies and approaches will be required, and it’s the IT leadership’s responsibility to ease their organizations in this transition.

Learn More

If interested in knowing what tools you can use to help with remote work, check out our newest webinar on JumpCloud’s transition to entirely remote working. You can also read this blog on ideal infrastructure for a remote environment.

Questions? Feel free to reach out

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