You budget for OS updates, applications, storage, pens and paper clips. Don’t forget to include training in your spending plan.
Technology can be complicated. The processes we wrap around technology can be complicated. Don’t expect your troops to just dive in and figure it out as they go along. That introduces the very real possibility of costly and embarrassing mistakes. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck—and lot quicker return on investment—if you invest in training, along with your investments in hardware and software. Training doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Often if you’re dealing with some third-party vendor, you can negotiate to have training included in your purchase.
Don’t miss any chance to sign up for some training for your staff and for yourself—whether on specific applications or platforms, or on overall concepts such as security, development, application compatibility and so on. Identify where your skill sets and intellectual expertise could use some reinforcement, and then seek out that reinforcement.
Training budgets are often among the first to get cuts when the budget shortfall ax comes out. Companies need to recognize how shortsighted that is—especially with the continued feverish pace of technology change. Your business executives expect you to keep your IT organization on or at least near the cutting edge of technology and process. To do so, you need to advocate for training—it will be effort and money well spent.
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Lafe Low is the editor in chief of TechNet Magazine. A veteran technology journalist, he’s also the former executive editor of 1105 Media’s Redmond magazine.