Building Your Tech Budget

Creating a tech budget - how much a company can/is willing to spend on the technology that helps run their business is a complicated project made more difficult by competing interests (e.g., sales vs. marketing, or stakeholders vs. everyday Web workers, or available time and money vs. resources needed). 

Understanding the basics of what it takes to operate online today will help everyone in an organization understand why funds need to be allocated to certain resources. So let's build your tech budget based on what it takes to operate today.

Infrastructure & Reliability (50%)

From which content management system (CMS) is in use to how a company will monitor uptime, the infrastructure and reliability (I&R) of a site should serve as the foundation - and large percentage - of a company's tech budget. There is no use sending people to a site if content isn't displayed, for example, or the site is down because it was overwhelmed by traffic. 

I&R budget should account for a combination of:

- Hosting


- Ecommerce platform

- Web experience management

- Domain name

- Performance monitoring

- Content delivery network

- Shopping cart/wish lists

- Enterprise resource planning

- Security protocols and software

+ Also read: 13 Techies Share Must-Have Website Tech & My Favorite CMS Is...

Analytics & Optimization (25%)

Once I&R solutions have been accounted for, brands need to understand what people are doing on their site, how they are buying, why they are leaving, what they want from their experience and other data that can help them optimize the experience they are offering. 

A&O should account for a combination of: 

- Personalization software

- Analytics system(s)

- Heatmaps

- Visitor recordings

- Survey tools

- Data visualization 

- Tag manager

- Data management platform 

- A/B testing platform

- Enterprise order management

+ Also read: My Essential Analytics & Optimization Tools

Acquisition & Retention (25%)

Customers (whether they are subscribers, business partners or any type of person who buys products or signs up for services) are the livelihood of a company and bringing them onboard and keeping them for the long run is imperative to every organization's success. Acquisition and, often more important, retention should be given the budget they deserve.

A&R should account for a combination of:

- Competition monitoring

- Keyword research

- Affiliate network/management

- Email service provider 

- Predictive analytics solution (to prevent customer churn)

- Marketing automation 

- Customer relationship management

- Search engine optimization solutions 

- Social media management 

- Sales automation/accelerators 

- Employee advocacy programs 

- Referrals program

- Content amplification and discovery tools

- Social listening tools

- Mobile apps

- Coupon delivery/support

- Live chat

- Retargeting 

- Product ratings and reviews

- Online communities

- User-generated content (sourcing, using, etc.)

- Advertising: search, social, display, print, native

+ Also read: My Essential Analytics & Optimization Tools & Collaborative & Curated Social Media

How does your organization build its tech budget? Provide insights for your peers in the comments below!