Recently we met the owner of a medium-sized business who had a gut feeling that the business was not ready (from an IT perspective) for the planned growth over next couple of years. His words were “my gut tells me that things were untidy”. He was right. Empower IT Solutions conducted an infrastructure audit that not only uncovered an array of critical risks to the business but also showed how little value for money they were receiving with their small IT Services provider.
From slow system performance to sophisticated cyberattacks, countless things can go wrong with IT at any second. To keep your IT in top shape, you must understand what’s lacking in your current systems so you can make the correct adjustments. This is why an IT audit is necessary.
What is an IT audit?
An IT audit is a comprehensive review of your organisation’s IT system, including the infrastructure, operations, daily practices, security measures, and budget. It identifies gaps in your technology and security controls, giving you actionable insights into what changes need to be made. A third party conducts the audit so your company can gain an objective view of your IT systems and processes.
Why an IT Audit?
Having a stable and efficient network is very important for business nowadays. That’s a well-known fact. But supporting and maintaining such a network is very often difficult. If network problems occur, fast and efficient reaction is crucial. Business owners and managers know they can get better productivity from their staff if their IT is designed to deliver productivity and more importantly minimise downtime.
An IT audit identifies risks to the business within several key IT areas, including business continuity, security, and scalability for growth. In summary, the reasons for performing an IT audit are:
- To ensure that the physical and virtual servers are configured as per industry best practices; confirming reliability and security.
- To identify hardware bottlenecks that are impacting business productivity
- To obtain a listing of infrastructure hardware assets and ensure a valid warranty is in place
- To validate the disaster & recovery process
- To identify security risks within the network
The Benefits of an IT Audit
A comprehensive IT audit will have the following benefits for your organisation:
- Reduce IT costs by allowing you to make informed future investment decisions on your IT assets
- Ensure software compliance by knowing what you have and what you use
- Align your IT with your business goals. Especially if you have plans for quick growth, expansion and acquisition
Example of costs to your business when things go wrong
Let’s assume that you’re part of an organisation of 50 staff members. Let’s examine the following conservative examples of technology outages:
Scenario: Your network or internet connection is down or slow for 10 minutes twice a week.
Impact: A total of 1000 minutes of productivity time is wasted each week.
Cost: Based on an average salary of $50K, that works out to be $1,650 per month or $19,846 per Year!
Scenario: Complete disaster, your servers fail and backups are corrupt
Impact: Typically a customer that size will need the environment to be rebuilt with downtime of up to a week. That’s 2000 hours of lost productivity.
Cost: Doing the maths on an average $50K salary, this would equate to a whopping $35,600 in just lost time. Add to that the cost of lost sales and lost opportunities and you can see how it can easily climb to staggering numbers!
When is a good time to do an IT audit?
If you want to be proactive and forward-thinking then you would arrange for an IT audit if:
- It’s been more than 2 years since your last IT audit
- You are planning to significantly grow in the next 12 months
- You are planning to change or upgrade your core systems e.g. ERP, CRM, DMS
- You think that your current IT Services provider is giving you a raw deal
IT audits shouldn’t be a one-time event. Instead, they should be conducted whenever there are significant changes to your company’s IT. If you have plans to employ new digital transformation strategies, it’s also a good idea to conduct an audit first. This way, you’ll be aware of any potential risks upfront and can make any changes required to ensure smooth operations.
In most cases, companies are also required to conduct annual IT audits to assess the strength of their cybersecurity practices and verify their compliance status. New cyber threat risks occur every day, so an audit should be done periodically to help you stay up to date with the latest security measures and protocols.
Where to go from here?
The IT audit is a tool that shows business owners where the business is currently at, and what needs to be done to achieve the next set of business goals (in terms of recommendations). Based on our experience, we are confident that our audit of your network infrastructure provides you with the actionable intelligence needed to transform your current network and help you make sound investment decisions.
To organise an IT Infrastructure audit with Empower IT Solutions, feel free to submit an audit request here.