How reliable is the technology that your business and its employees rely on each and every day? Every business owner should know the answer to this question.
If you do not have an answer or know that the technology used by your business or organization could be improved, then it may be time for a technology audit, also referred to as an IT audit, to determine its reliability.
Technology reliability is key to business operations in today’s connected world. Hardware and software can’t be outdated and networks must be stable and secure from potential attacks.
But what is a technology audit and what does that process entail? Here is a brief overview of the process and the next steps such an audit may suggest.
A technology audit is a thorough evaluation of a business’s entire IT infrastructure and how it currently uses that infrastructure, including operations and policies.
A proper audit will show whether those operations and policies make the best use of the assets used by the organization and that the data that organization interacts with is stored in a secure manner.
The audit should highlight any security risks that exist. It should also be able to identify whether the organization is following any industry-specific laws relating to IT.
Finally, the audit should be able to identify whether there are any areas of improvement in the established IT infrastructure that could either lead to more efficiency or better security. IT audits exist, after all, to help companies improve their practices and invest in certain areas of technology more wisely.
Technology audits are performed by IT auditors or similar professionals who are trained in methods of analyzing and assessing a business or organization’s IT infrastructure. These auditors are the ones who are responsible for measuring efficiency, making sure systems are running accurately and that they are secure per any compliance requirements or regulations specific to the organization’s industry.
Once an audit has been performed and a report completed, the auditor or team of auditors will share what they have found with others in the business. From there, they likely will recommend solutions for improving areas of weakness in the IT infrastructure or improving compliance.
An IT audit can focus on several different areas of a business’s technology infrastructure.
According to CIO, those areas break down into different types of audits, including:
There really isn’t one agreed upon answer to the question of how often businesses and organizations should have technology audits conducted. What can be agreed upon is that these audits should be continual and should be expected to be as thorough as possible, which means they should be expected to take as much time as is needed to deliver necessary accuracy and results.
One way to determine how often an organization should conduct a technology audit is to see how often or in what manner competitors or others in similar industries conduct their own audits.
When your business conducts an IT audit, either internally or, as recommended if you do not have the proper staffing, externally, there are certain best practices that should be followed to ensure the best results.
According to Project Manager, those include scope, outside resources, implementation, feedback and repetition. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of those practices.
An organization should have a grasp on the scope or size of the audit before it begins. Everyone involved in your organization’s IT department, and anyone who frequently works closely with them, should be involved in the planning so that all areas of hardware, software and networking that they touch is included in the audit.
Determine whether any external or outside resources will be needed to perform the audit. This would include consultants or other service providers.
The business or organization having the audit conducted needs to know what exactly the audit should examine and analyze. Industry standards, methods and procedures need to be made clear so that the person or team conducting the audit can gain a sense of how systems should be operating and compare that to how systems are operating.
A good technology audit always concludes with a report that is understandable for all stakeholders, not just the ones familiar with technological jargon. The auditor should also be available to answer questions or address existing areas of concern.
Create a plan for how often the process of a technology audit will take place for your organization. Additionally, have a plan for how to take recommendations from each audit and implement them into how your organization operates.
With a technology audit from Advanced Network Professionals, you can learn whether your business or organization’s technology and network infrastructure are both operating as they should and as efficiently as possible.
Plus, you will have peace of mind that the data that you store is in fact safe and secure from malicious cyberattacks that would otherwise expose the data of your business and its customers or clients.
Technology audits are just one of our services, which also include managed IT services and cloud based solutions. If you would like to learn more about our many services, then get in touch with us and request a quote.
Our team is prepared to meet your business or organization’s technology needs.