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Do You Know Everything Happening In Your Environment?
Improving IT efficiency, reducing costs, strengthening security, and ensuring reliability are all goals you can aim for with IT audits and assessments. Moreover, they’re not just about telling you what’s wrong. They’re designed to uncover ways to improve your company’s IT strategy to get more done with less. This is especially useful for small and medium-sized businesses that may have smaller budgets.
What’s Covered in IT Audits and Assessments
An IT audit is a check of your business’ compliance with an external standard or set of industry regulations. An example would be an IT audit to determine whether your business complies with HIPAA around controlling access rights to medical records. Compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is another set of industry regulations that could be covered by an IT audit.
IT assessments, on the other hand, are evaluations done internally against a model which defines a set of best practices. An assessment is done to get a snapshot of what is currently going on in your organization to determine what you are doing well, and whether there are areas for improvement. An IT assessment can cover one or more of the following areas, including:
Understanding risks and vulnerabilities
Data backups and recovery
Preparing your business in the event of a
cyberattack or natural disaster
Evaluating computers, servers, networks, and more.
Each area covers different aspects of a comprehensive approach for drastically reducing IT equipment failures, improving overall efficiency, boosting IT security, and making IT costs much more predictable. When you look at all four areas, you can make the best possible choices for your business.
During assessments, business goals are also taken into consideration. This ensures that your IT strategy aligns with your goals so your business can stay competitive and grow.
No two audits or assessments are the same. Depending on the magnitude and complexity of the scope, it normally takes one to two weeks to complete. This ensures everything can be fully examined and a thorough analysis of your business is completed.
The Main Reasons for Doing Audits and Assessments
Performing IT audits and assessments periodically is a worthwhile investment that provides a number of benefits for your business.
To Improve IT Budget and Planning
It’s not uncommon for IT spending to get out of control. Plus, figuring out how to budget when costly, unexpected system issues keep coming up can seem impossible. Performing regular IT spending audits can help take the guesswork out of the equation by laying out exactly what you’re spending and why. You’ll also discover ways to make costs more predictable, reduce hardware failures, and learn what services to use to improve your business, working within your defined budget.
Evaluate Existing Technology Stack
It’s all too common for small businesses to opt for the same technology stack as much larger businesses. They may invest in servers, on-site backup technology, high-end devices for every employee, and individual software installations on each device.
This is costly and time-consuming to manage if you don’t have a full-time IT team. During an audit and assessment, your existing technology stack is evaluated to determine if it’s helping or hindering your business.
Reducing on-site hardware needs, upgrading outdated technology, and reducing daily IT maintenance create a more efficient and productive business overall. It’s all about choosing the right technology for your company’s needs. Having a second set of eyes with the right expertise helps your business do just that.
Prepare For A Regulatory Audit
Depending on your industry, your technology may need to meet certain minimum requirements, especially in terms of data security and storage. If even one thing is wrong, your business could face hefty fines.
IT audits can look at regulatory compliance requirements specific to your business. If you have a regulatory audit coming up, it’s a good idea to schedule an IT audit beforehand to ensure your business is following all regulations so that you can remain in good standing.
Common Issues Discovered and Reported
While every business won’t have the same types or number of issues, it’s common to find the following issues in the course of performing IT audits and assessments:
This can lead to network performance issues along with making your network less secure and more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Opportunities For Improved Technical Efficiencies And/Or Redundancies
Uncover more efficient technical processes, hardware, and software
Data Security Areas For Improvement
All existing data security solutions are analyzed, such as firewalls, anti-virus, encryption, two-factor authentication, and more. You’ll also receive recommendations on any weak points that increase your risks.
The Right IT Solution for your Business