8 free IT budget plan templates for CIOs

Creating a reliable IT budget plan is no cinch, especially in today's digital age. Here, we've rounded up free, customizable IT budget templates to help.

Researching, designing and staying within the parameters of an IT budget plan are not easy. To create a plan that is realistic and well-thought-out, the individuals who oversee the planning -- typically the CIO or head of an organization's IT department -- must stay abreast of technology and business trends and be attuned to the specific business needs of their organization. The need to be cost-effective when planning for technology spending is greater than ever.

Crafting a solid IT budget plan calls for IT executives to communicate and collaborate closely with other senior business leaders. While IT budget plans vary depending on the needs of each business department in your organization, a well-rounded plan typically covers the following areas: hardware and software, training, backup and disaster recovery, support and maintenance, telecommunications, cloud services and miscellaneous expenses.

In this roundup, we've collected eight free, downloadable IT budget plan templates and examples that are customizable depending on the size of your organization, your industry and what type of projects and processes you're buying technology for as you plan your budget for the next year or more.

Source: ImproveIT
This IT budget plan template, created by ImproveIT, a platform of resources that supports small community and health organizations, aims to help you develop your annual information and communication technology budget. The template, which is accompanied by a step-by-step guide, covers a range of topics you need to consider to successfully compile all your budgeting information, including what capital and operational costs to take into account before you start budgeting; how to work out when to replace or upgrade hardware and software; and how to identify which tech services you use and subscribe to.

Source: Info-Tech Research Group Inc.
Info-Tech Research Group, an IT research and advisory firm, designed this IT budget template to function as a reference guide to help steer day-to-day IT department activities. The document includes an optional monthly worksheet to help get better estimates for total individual revenue and expense items before creating your department budget, as well as a section where you can analyze the data from the results from the budget section.

Source: Spiceworks Community
In multiple discussions on Spiceworks, a social networking platform for IT professionals, members shared various examples of IT budget plan templates they have modified and used for their own organizations. IT manager and network engineer Todd Noe shared a customizable template that the accounting department at his company uses. It covers personnel, telecom, software, hardware and other expenses, as well as a graph to visualize the data. Fellow Spiceworks member and IT manager Paul Chiodo shared another template, which includes hardware and server upgrade worksheets. 

Source: Axia Consulting Ltd.
Offering: This IT budget plan template was created by independent consultancy Axia specifically for IT software projects. The modifiable document includes instructions on how to use it and accounts for the costs of both the software selection process and the implementation process, specifically software and hardware costs, labor, networking costs and more. It then calculates not just the total project cost but also the total project cost per user.

Source: OCLC WebJunction
This document, which was posted by a member on OCLC WebJunction, an online learning community for library professionals, is an example of a five-year IT budget plan for a large library, specifically one that has 120 employees. It includes a worksheet that outlines hardware, software, networking and other expenses, as well as a summary sheet detailing subtotals for all five years.

Source: Vertex42
Vertex42, a source for over 400 original spreadsheet templates, designed a project budget template for predicting and managing costs for projects of all sizes, including large IT projects in the enterprise. Users can choose between a basic and monthly project budget or a more detailed project budget with a work breakdown structure format that specifies and automatically calculates material and labor rates.

Source: Powernet
Offering: Offering: Powernet, an IT support company based in Australia, offers two sample IT budgets that help break down an organization's IT spending. CIOs can use the annual IT department budget template to track monthly IT expenditures over the course of a year, including staff training, telecommunication expenses, software and contract expenses and IT personnel expenses. With the IT project budget template, CIOs can outline resources and track project-related expenses, including software and hardware expenses, network expenses and employee expenses.

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