Why the C-Suite Needs to Care About IT Audits
An IT audit is defined as an examination and evaluation of an organization’s automated information processing systems, related non-automated processes, and the interfaces among them. This includes the IT infrastructure (software, hardware, network resources, and services), operations, and policies. The purpose of it is to evaluate whether current IT controls are adequately ensuring data integrity, protecting corporate assets, and are appropriately aligned with the organization’s overall goals.
Having an IT audit is important if you want to have a reliable, efficient, and successful IT infrastructure. Your IT systems are in place to enable and streamline your business operations and make sure operations are successful. An audit gives you the ability to analyze your IT environment and determine how well it’s performing its job and where improvements can be made.
If you are looking for a way to improve the use of software and other technologies within your organization or thinking of taking on a new project—an IT audit can help you assess your situation and readiness.
Here are a few of the ways an IT Audit can prevent common IT and business operations issues.
Identifying Potential Security Threats and Vulnerability with an IT Audit
Storing data electronically is essential for virtually every organization. What’s even more essential is protecting that data and securing it from leaks or discoveries by unauthorized parties. With an IT audit, your organization will know if it’s operating at the lowest risk possible. This is especially important since your organization’s financial, employee, and customer data is vulnerable through your IT systems. Areas that are at high risk will be identified, and you will be able to develop a strategy to resolve any risks and avoid potential threats.
Aligning IT and Business Goals
It’s important for your organization to have a shared vision, regardless of the department. An IT audit assesses if all systems are secure and sufficient to support the overall function and goals of the organization. For instance, when taking on a new project, a faulty and unreliable system can hinder the work of a software development team or introduce unnecessary risk into the project.
In addition, with organizational growth comes an increased need for your IT infrastructure to support larger amounts of data. If you want your organization to have continued growth, your IT must be able to accommodate an increasing amount of data and applications, while keeping it accessible. Being confident that your IT infrastructure can support organizational growth is an essential element of organizational development plans. Getting an expert’s opinion through an IT audit will provide you with the information you need to support those plans.
Reducing IT Costs with an IT Audit
Your organization’s leaders may not notice it, but it’s not uncommon to find that IT budgets are completely out of line with economic conditions and technology developments. An IT audit will help your organization take a closer look at IT expenditures to determine whether they are justified and assess IT systems for inefficiencies. Many internal software projects suffer from budget overruns and extended timelines that end up lowering the value of the software when development plans aren’t followed properly. If this is the case for your organization, having an assessment done of your organization’s compliance with IT-specific policies, standards, and laws and your information management processes is essential to addressing the issues.
When Should You Get an IT Audit
An audit will leave you with a detailed written report that includes the scope, objectives, procedures performed, findings, observations, and recommendations. These recommendations include actionable steps to take to address any issues or concerns found in the audit.
Having an IT audit is never a bad idea, but there are a few instances where getting an audit is essential.
- If your company is expanding and you plan to hire more employees, it’s best to make sure your IT infrastructure is running efficiently before you add more users.
- If you’re looking to change or upgrade some of your core systems, it’s best to consult with an expert to ensure that the process goes smoothly and costs are reasonable.
- If you’re planning a sale of your business or looking for new investors, having an independent IT audit will can provide support for your goals.
- If it has been a while since your last audit, let’s say 2-3 years, you should have one done. A lot can change within a couple of years without you noticing.
- Lastly, if you have concerns about your managed services or development services provider, an audit can help you make a calculated decision about what to do in order to provide your staff with a better user experience.
As mentioned before, your IT infrastructure is there to power your organization and make sure that it’s running as efficiently as possible. Your organization relies on technology to execute critical functions so assessing it periodically is essential to organizational health.
At QAT Global, we can provide your organization with a custom IT audit. Learn more about our technology consulting services.