Why is Conducting an IT Audit Important

Whether it is money, time, or staff every company regardless of its industry, are increasing their investments in technology. The impact a successful implementation can have on businesses' operations is becoming more apparent every day. Understanding the importance of IT audits can make the difference between a successful company and one that fails due to poor implementation, or a cybersecurity-related breach (as highlighted in last week’s blog).

Free Download: IT Audit Template

What is an IT Audit and Why Do We Conduct Them

An audit can be seen as an investigation in the hopes of identifying problems/solutions. An IT audit is a review of an organisation's IT systems, IT hardware, management, application, operations, data use and other technology-related processes. These variables are all reviewed in the hopes of identifying if your current IT controls and protects company assets and processes whilst also ensuring the integrity of your own and customer data.

Cyber-Security is a major factor when it comes to conducting an IT audit. As highlighted in last week's blog falling victim to a cyber-attack can have devastating effects on a business, its reputation and in turn overall longevity/growth. An IT audit is conducted in the hopes of removing any surprise and making sure you have a predictable growth plan for your business.

Another reason why you should consider an IT audit is that it’s cost-effective in the sense that it will reveal exactly which services you need, and which ones your company can do without. Additionally, since the technology we use is evolving so fast, an IT audit can let you know which of your systems and tools are outdated.

Below are some of the additional objectives of conducting an IT audit:

  • Addressing the inefficiencies in the IT systems and their management
  • Checking the information management processes are compliant with IT-specific laws, policies, and standards 
  • Evaluating the systems and processes currently in place that work to secure company data
  • Determining if there are potential risks to the company's information assets and finding ways to minimize those risks
  • Safeguarding company software, hardware and site
  • Establishing the inefficiencies in the systems and associated management

The Three Main Benefits of Conducting an IT Audit

Insures There are No Surprises

IT audits will often find threats in our everyday trusted software/hardware that are often easily overlooked. These threats if not addressed early on, can quickly escalate into a complete data breach down the line.

Properly planning and giving your business a predictable IT landscape allows you to understand how all the different elements of your business’s technology connect and whilst doing so can expose potential threats

Allows you to make Calculated and Data-Driven Decisions

As our It audit template will show taking the time to audit your hardware, software and security will give you valuable data that can then be used to more core decisions regarding your business. Conducting these audits can enable you to make more informed security budgeting decisions. Being able to directly address what security issues your business will face allows you to have a better idea of where to spend your money. An Audit can also help you prioritize your goals based on what's most pressing, exposing vulnerabilities or what’s causing productivity loss.

IT auditing makes for easier SWOT analysis

Conducting an IT audit allows you to use a SWOT analysis technique that evaluates the Strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business. This is a great tool that allows you to determine what your company is doing well now and gives you the ability to plan ahead years into the future.

campaign-creators-pypeCEaJeZY-unsplash (1)Internal Vs External Auditing

Now that we understand why we conduct IT audits the next step is to find out how you are going to go about conducting one. The two options you will have is to either conduct one in-house (internally) or to outsource the job (externally). Deciding which one you should choose may not be as simple as it first seems.

Internal audits are a great way of ‘getting the job done whilst cutting costs, additionally, they can be more efficient as it is much easier for an internal employee to gather all necessary data, they know the company and should have access to all the information and data needed. Using the Audit template, we have linked below is a great way to take the first step towards bettering the IT within your businesses, by giving you a clear way of viewing your current hardware, software, and security use all on one page.

If you feel you want to take the first step toward conducting an Internal audit but aren't sure where to start please feel free to view our 'How to conduct an IT audit in-house' blog post HERE 

External auditing on the other hand involves outsourcing the job to another organisation. A great advantage of outsourcing is being granted access to a wealth of experience for a variety of industries, additionally, these external partners will have more than enough experience working with a range of software and tools.

When you outsource you're IT audit, the partner you choose will need to identify five items in order to accurately gather the necessary information:

  • Knowledge and information on the business and industry
  • Results of previously conducted audits
  • Recent financial information
  • Regulatory statutes
  • Results of risk assessments

With over 15 years' worth of experience, the entrust IT Group are professionals at IT auditing. When we are conducting an audit and have gathered the above information we would document, summarize, and present the audit's findings, and then share our recommendations and long-term strategies giving our partners a clear and easy-to-understand insight into their IT expansion plans.

 

Conclusion

The more time and effort spent planning a technological expansion the higher the chance of that project becoming a success. Conducting a detailed IT audit is a crucial step toward any good IT project. An IT audit is used to address cyber-security risks, assure money is most effectively spent, and give you a clear insight into the future of your businesses following the desired change. Following the template linked below is a great way to get a visual insight into your business's current hardware, software and security and can make planning upcoming IT projects significantly easier.

Many business owners and IT managers understandably find that their time would be better spent focusing on their core roles and therefore decide to outsource the job of IT auditing to a trusted MSP like ourselves. When we partner with a business we go further than most, we take the time to understand your business, its goals, strengths and weaknesses and then build a long-term plan accordingly whilst offering our advice and expertise along the way.

Do you feel you'd benefit from an experienced IT partner? Or just want to learn a bit more about what we can do for you? Please feel free to get in touch with one of our experienced consultants HERE New call-to-action

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