It has been reported that IT budgets will be subject to a squeeze resulting from the Brexit decision and for those who have bought IT items recently this has already become evident. Prices of Apple devices for example have already seen an increase. I count myself lucky that we updated our iPad fleet just before the Brexit vote as had we delayed we might now see a bill thousands of pounds more expensive than the cost we actually paid.
Revenue costs will be an issues as we may see some service costs increase during the year ahead. An example of this might be Microsoft licensing costs. This will be difficult to deal with as it represents a revenue item with increasing cost. It may require an assessment of the value of services being used with services of a lesser value being abandoned in order to afford those services which are critical or of a higher value. If Microsoft licensing costs go up which other licensed products might we no longer be able to afford?
Capital projects are likely to take a significant hit as projects may no longer fall within the originally allotted budgets. As such some projects may now be cancelled and not progress. This may also result in some projects which previously may have been considered no longer being considered due to cost or potential future costs.
So what can we do?
The key is that of value. We need to ensure that all that we do has the highest possible value and return on investment.
This is easier to do where planning is for a new project, new software or new hardware. Here, if due to the financial situation, the decision is taken to not proceed with a purchase the net effect is zero; we don’t have the item now so not purchasing it results in no change. The more difficult situation to manage is where we want to bring about efficiencies by looking at what we have and by removing some items. This may be removing items to replace them with something else, such as moving from desk based printers to centralised Multi-Function Devices or it might be removing something due to the fact that the cost vs benefit does not represent sufficient benefit given the tightening financial situation. Any removal or ceasing of support is likely to meet with a negative response from users.
The coming year is likely to be more difficult that the year that has past, a year largely prior the Brexit decision. Overall in terms of educational technology, the recent Brexit decision will not have impacted on the impact and potential impact on technology, however the cost of this technology has almost certainly seen an increase. As such when taking a cost vs impact viewpoint, technology may now require a greater level of justification in order to counterbalance the increased cost.