There are a number of hurdles you'll need to overcome if you want to create an IT infrastructure worthy of the name in the 21st century. First, there's a huge amount of "if you want to get there, don't start here" - old hardware, old software, and quite often (and most importantly) old thinking in place.
Second, IT is almost always seen as a service provision within the company, and so budgets are tight even in the good times. In today's dreadful trading conditions, with a future bleaker than many can remember, the concept of "investing in IT" comes a very poor second to paying the wage bill and retaining key staff. And rightly so.
Against this we should balance the reality that the software and systems of the past few years have never been so good. You've never had so much capability for so little money, and this is important to remember because there's real scope for improving day-to-day operations for minimal financial spend.
A few thousand can transform a broken network, for example, by ripping out old wiring and overloaded switches, and replacing them with modern items and new cabling. This doesn't all need to be done in one go, but a structured and considered approach can bring huge benefits for hundreds of pounds.
Recognising these weak spots is the key to ekeing value out of existing infrastructure. And that includes limitations in the people who look after the system - if you run Exchange Server 2003, for example, and your IT person has no training in the product, then don't despair the high cost of an off-site training course.
A few books from Amazon, and the time to read them, are a better investment of limited resources.