Why Your Business Needs a Third-Party IT Audit: The Benefits of an In-Depth IT Analysis
A successful business requires an IT infrastructure and support system that facilitates the company’s operations and future goals.
Do you know what technology your company has in place? Can your IT systems support any business changes or growth plans? What technology challenges do your employees face?
These are all questions that must be addressed in an IT audit, but there are many other aspects of your company’s IT strategy that must be considered when completing a thorough assessment of your technology and the way it’s used.
The sections below explain why a comprehensive analysis of your technology systems and strategy is necessary for the success of your company, and why such an examination can help your organization reduce risk, save money, and reach your business goals.
Why should you pay for an IT audit?
There are some IT companies that offer a free “IT assessment” or “IT workshop.” However, it’s important to consider the depth and breadth of the offer.
Is the company simply taking an inventory of your systems? If the deliverable is a list of your technology and its age, the answer is most likely yes.
You wouldn’t go to a financial adviser for a list of your regular expenses. You can do that yourself. You would engage the adviser as someone who can help you make sense of your financial responsibilities and suggest a strategic way to manage and invest your money. Similarly, your organization’s IT infrastructure is just one piece of your overall technology strategy.
A knowledgeable managed IT services provider can deliver your organization the long-term, in-depth IT plan you need to effectively prepare for the future, as well as remediate any immediate technology risks that can hinder the success of your business and its employees.
What does an IT audit look like?
The purpose of an IT audit is to identify immediate and long-term IT risks, as well as the existing opportunities for your technology to help your organization both save and make money. At Aldridge, our IT audit will consist of the following steps.
The executive interview
The executive interview will involve a conversation between your company’s key stakeholders and Aldridge executives. We will work to understand your business goals, what your company wants IT to contribute to the organization, and what compliance requirements you’re required to follow.
If your executives want a IT relationship where they call their IT person on Saturday morning at seven a.m., they’re likely not a good fit for managed IT services.
Why is it necessary for your company’s executives to be present?
What one department needs from IT is vastly different from the needs of another. Your VP of Sales and your CFO have different agendas.While the success of the business is the unanimous objective, how each department arrives at their version of success varies and so do the ways they need technology to support their efforts.
Essentially, the primary outcome of the executive interview should be a comprehensive understanding of how your company wants to interact with IT and what it hopes to gain via its technology.
The employee survey is an integral piece of the IT audit process because it often uncovers underlying IT issues that can hinder employee productivity and morale. In a nutshell, the employee survey works to establish the overall employee experience with IT. Below are a few of the questions your employees will be asked throughout the survey.
- When do you experience downtime? For how long?
- When you need IT support, how long does it take for someone to address your issue? How long does it take for the problem to be fixed?
- How has IT impacted your productivity? Positively? Negatively?
- Do you have the applications you need to get your job done?
- Do you know individuals in other companies that have similar jobs, but different tools? How do their applications and information systems compare to your own?
- Do you feel like you lack the technology tools and support you need to do your job?
- Do you communicate with those in charge of IT? Can you, and how do you make technology recommendations to help improve your performance?
Technical Deep Dive
You would be surprised how many companies we’ve encountered who are oblivious as to what systems and applications support their everyday tasks. If your organization only has on-site servers, but your employees need the ability to work remote, it might be as simple as moving a few applications and information systems into the cloud, while keeping the rest of your business on-premise.
An IT professional will complete a hands-on discovery of the IT infrastructure you have in place, your IT systems, your applications, and how the structure of your IT environment adheres to any compliance requirements your organization may be subject to.
What’s the long-term value of an IT audit?
Each individual component of the IT audit can be a beneficial discovery process, but the real value exists in the resulting 12-24 month road map our IT professionals will develop for your company. This road map will include a full IT budget, immediate risks to be remedied, existing compliance gaps, cultural issues related to employee perception of IT, and what the IT support structure should look like to best serve your organization.
Some companies ask why they can’t complete an IT audit in-house. An internal IT department can aggregate a list of all the technology in use, but they are likely exposed to one set of technology and systems, and are therefore very narrowly focused on what they know and what they’re comfortable managing. On the other hand, a capable managed IT services provider is exposed to hundreds of different companies and can use its experience to provide your business with an IT solution that suits your unique needs and goals.
At Aldridge, our IT professionals are experienced in using IT to better businesses across a variety of industries. If your organization is looking to improve its IT operations and utilize technology to facilitate its goals, contact an Aldridge representative today to learn more about our comprehensive IT audit.