The IT budget proposal process is difficult, and it often seems that the board and IT just don’t speak the same language.
While you are explaining how encryption tools helps reduce risk and control access to sensitive data effectively. The board doesn’t seem to be that enthusiastic about implementing the new solution because it would cost more than the current one.
By speaking their language, of course.
When presenting your budget to the board, you must speak in terms they understand – how your IT budget proposal contributes to achieving the company mission.
This means leaving out all the technical terms and complex technological concepts, and instead focusing on how your proposed solution will achieve their long-term goals faster and more efficiently.
Everything during your presentation – from the current overview to detected issues and proposed solutions – should be presented in terms of how it’s affecting the company, not just IT.
If the board can see the benefits clearly – be it in increased revenue, better efficiency, or lower risk – you’ll have a much easier time with getting your budget approved.
For your IT budget proposal to be successful, you must give actual figures and quantify exactly what you need and why.
Starting with your current security posture. Present the identified issues, bottlenecks, and risks, but do not simply say they exist or could happen.
Present how likely risks are to happen, how bottlenecks are affecting the efficiency and revenue, how issues are affecting the customer experience—show real numbers and how much money is lost.
After that, you should present your solutions in terms of in-depth costs of implementation vs. cost of leaving things as they are.
The possible damages to the company should be presented in terms of revenue losses, market loss, fines, employee impact, loss of reputation, to name a few; otherwise, the board will assume that you will just lose data.
By being specific, you can show just how expensive it is to stand still in terms of IT upgrades and how extensive the consequences can be.
Try making the presentation interactive; run possible scenarios and showcase their impact. Provide visualizations that are easy to see and digest! This will stop decision makers from switching off.
Tools like Boardish can help you present real numbers, as you can quickly add possible risks and solutions and see how these translate to the company’s bottom line with interactive graphs and charts.
The hardest part of IT budget approval is making sure you and the board speak the same language. Use language they understand. Take their background into account when presenting your case, and explain in terms they use daily. Give them the figures to make an accurate and responsive decision based on actual financial impact, and you’ll have a much easier time getting your IT budget approved.
Explain why/how your solutions work, to a non-techy audience.