• Products
  • Pricing
  • Resources
  • Changelog
  • About Us
    Sign In
    Talk to Sales

How to get approval for AI tools outside the normal budgeting cycles

AI vendors aren't waiting for our normal annual budgeting cycles, nor should you. Be an effective champion with this guide on how to build a business case for unplanned spending.

Naomi Lurie

Browse chapters

Increase Credibility with Data-Driven Evaluations


November 21, 2023

AI is poised to revolutionize software engineering in unprecedented ways. Suddenly, there's a huge supply of magical capabilities that were previously not possible, and these tools are evolving rapidly.

Clearly, AI vendors are not waiting for our normal annual budgeting cycles. Their innovations are coming out fast and furious. Case in point is the slew of new Copilot features GitHub announced in November.

If you want to adopt quickly, you need to be prepared to request spending authorization outside of the standard budget timelines.

Here’s a guide to effectively championing AI tools in your organization and building your business case.

Increase Credibility with Data-Driven Evaluations

Using data to showcase the value of AI tools is crucial. Your organization expects you to weigh benefits (like speed) against potential risks (like lower quality).

A data-driven approach will help you present a cost/benefit analysis that passes muster with your CFO.

Here's a walkthrough of a data-driven approach to evaluation promoted by GitHub to analyze the impacts of Copilot:

Thomas Gerber, Field CTO at Faros AI, saw great results from his data-driven trial of GitHub Copilot, "In 30 minutes I was able to get to a decision that was backed by data... the downstream effects were clear."

Highlight Economic Benefits

Current generative AI and other technologies have the potential to automate work activities that absorb 60 to 70 percent of employees’ time today.

Your business case should be about proving that the new reservoir of energy you’ve unleashed through time savings can be re-invested to great economic effect.

For example, if can demonstrate that you can convert time savings to improved quality that significantly reduces bugs and outages, you've proven the economic benefit.

This is important because, to CFOs, there is no such thing as a no-brainer. They are particularly prone to defund next-generation disruptive technology initiatives if they cannot see ROI.

Are the time savings on their own qualify? Not if they can't be converted to tangible impact. Demonstrating the economic benefits of AI tools can be a decisive factor in gaining approval.

Align with Organizational Goals

It’s essential to align the adoption of AI tools with the broader objectives of your organization. By demonstrating how the tools contribute to strategic initiatives, you can effectively advocate for their relevance and necessity.

Mustafa Furniturewala, SVP of Engineering at Coursera, says that any time he requests additional resources or budget, he makes sure to do three things:

  • Tie the investment to business strategy
  • Demonstrate thoughtful consideration of budget constraints and potential tradeoffs
  • Come with a plan for how to manage the change or disruption the tool will introduce

Be Straightforward About the Cost

Ross Grainger, Chief Financial Officer at Paraodx, makes a great point. Be upfront about the cost.

“The cost doesn’t need to be the first thing I see, but it better be easily found in the case. Then, I immediately want to know if this is “new” or “replacement” spend,” says Ross.

The Importance of Continuous Evaluation

AI adoption will be an ongoing process, not a one-time event.

Continuous evaluation with tools like Faros AI ensures that the AI tools you add to your arsenal remain relevant and effective over time, aligning with the organization's evolving needs and technologies.

Monitoring engineering productivity and the developer experience steadily over time will give you the perspective to pointed deploy AI in the places teams and roles need it most.


Gaining approval for AI tools outside normal budgeting cycles involves understanding their impact, using data-driven approaches, aligning with organizational goals, emphasizing continuous evaluation, and highlighting economic benefits.

By following these strategies, you can effectively champion the integration of AI tools in your software development process, ensuring your organization remains at the forefront of technological innovation.

Back to blog posts

More articles for you

See what Faros AI can do for you!

Global enterprises trust Faros AI to accelerate their engineering operations.
Give us 30 minutes of your time and see it for yourself.

Get a Demo