An IT audit is not a simple case of checking your computer, networks and printers. It’s a comprehensive, multi-faceted review of all of the components that make up your business systems and IT infrastructure; including, hardware, software, compliance checking and the people using your IT system.
So what does an IT audit entail?
It’s made up of several stages:
- IT system evaluation – The first phase of any IT audit is to evaluate what system you have in place. A system isn’t just the hardware, software and devices you have in place for your business. A system also encompasses other factors such as the people that use it, the contingency measures employed by your organisation in the event of disaster and much more.
- Information asset inspection – An information asset is any piece or collated information, stored within your business. Things like a contact database, your financial data and HR records. It isn’t just about personal information though, as Information Asset Management also covers any type of information that if lost or misused could potentially damage the reputation of your business.
- Compliance checking – Your organisation faces an ever growing list of complex statutory, regulatory and legal compliance obligations. Remaining compliant is critical to ensure data breaches like the one Brighton and Sussex Hospitals experienced never happen. In 2010, Brighton and Sussex Hospitals failed to deep clean 232 decommissioned hard drives. The Information Commissioner (ICO) fined Brighton and Sussex Hospitals £325,000 for failing to purge data from the decommissioned hard drives.
- Inefficiencies examination – An inefficient IT system will hinder your business instead of helping it. Slow running machines, convoluted accounting software and scenarios that discourage productivity are the things an audit would identify. Inefficiencies cost your organisation time and money
- Findings report – On completion of the IT audit you’ll get a detailed report: The report will outline the findings on your IT infrastructure, computer hardware, mobile and communication devices, security, backups and disaster recovery, suppliers and contracts and user issues etc.
Why should I bother with an IT audit?
There’s plenty of reasons why you should think about getting one done:
- Insight into your business – An IT audit will provide you with a clear picture of your business and its IT systems; warts and all. It’ll reveal your system’s efficiencies and deficiencies, identify security threats and compliance issues, and determine whether your current supplier contracts are beneficial to you and your business.
- Saving you time and money – As a growing business, you might not have the time, resources or expertise internally to undertake an IT audit. Hiring dedicated IT audit professionals will resolve this and enable you to identify areas for improving efficiency or saving money.
- Boosting productivity – Aspects of your IT operation might be inefficient. Things like failing to adopt the latest technology like cloud computing, or having outdated software and hardware can hinder the productivity of your organisation. Introducing things like the latest computer hardware or cloud business applications like Office 365 or Microsoft Azure can help boost staff collaboration and productivity.
- Meeting compliance – Statutory, regulatory and legal compliance legislation is constantly changing and it’s very difficult for small businesses to stay on top of these. Failure to do so can cost your organisation– like in the case of Brighton and Sussex Hospitals.
- IT Roadmap for improvements – If you use an IT audit consultancy you’ll be provided with a personalised project roadmap for implementing enhancements to your business systems. The plan will consider your business and technical needs, available technical resources and budget, and your desired business outcomes.
For more information on Advantages IT Audit Services call us on 0203 004 4600