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?
If you don’t know the answer to any one of these questions then it may be time for an IT audit of your organization. An IT audit is essentially a thorough assessment of your organization’s technology and the way it’s used. For an IT audit to be effective, your IT auditor should have a strong understanding of your organization’s IT strategy before they begin the assessment.
Why should you pay for an IT audit?
Some IT companies offer a free “IT assessment” or “IT workshop”. However, it’s important to understand what they are actually offering. An effective IT audit requires experienced technical professionals and enough time for those professionals to understand your business and your goals. It’s unlikely a free IT assessment will meet either of those requirements.
Is your “IT assessment” simply taking an inventory of your systems?
You wouldn’t go to a financial adviser for a list of your regular expenses; you can do that yourself. You would want a financial adviser who can help you make sense of your financial responsibilities and suggest a strategic way to manage and invest your money. Similarly, you’d want your IT adviser to do more than just take inventory, you’re hiring them to help with your organization’s overall technology strategy.
If you’re unsure how to even find an IT adviser, consider an managed IT services provider. An experienced 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 remedy any immediate technology risks.
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. To give you an idea what an effective IT audit should look like, here is our IT audit process:
The Executive Interview
The first step of an IT audit is the executive interview. The executive interview will involve a conversation between your organization’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.
Why is it necessary for your company’s executives to be present?
While the success of the business is the overall objective, how each department works towards that success varies and so do their technology needs. Speaking to your organization’s executives will give us an understanding of how each department relies on technology and how we can support them effectively.
The employee survey is an integral piece of the IT audit process because it often uncovers underlying IT issues that could be affecting employee productivity and morale. In a nutshell, the employee survey works to establish your employee’s overall 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
An IT professional will conduct 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.
Don’t worry, the problems uncovered by a technical deep dive aren’t necessarily complex and costly. For example, if your organization only has on-site servers, but your employees need the ability to work remote; the solution it might be as simple as moving a few applications and information systems into the cloud.
What’s the long-term value of an IT audit?
The discovery process of an IT audit is beneficial in itself, but the real value exists in the resulting 12-24 month roadmap your chosen IT auditors should develop for your company. This road map should include a full IT budget, immediate risks to be corrected, existing compliance gaps, cultural issues related to employee perception of IT, and what your ideal IT support structure should look like.
Some companies ask why they can’t complete an IT audit in-house. An internal IT department is used to the technology and systems your organization is currently using. As a result, they will not want to deviate too far from the systems that they are 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.
If you still have questions about IT auditing or are interested in an audit for your organization contact an Aldridge representative today!