The definition of an IT audit: an IT audit is an independent examination and test of your network technology.

A deep analysis of your technology empowers you to make smart IT decisions and budget more effectively. The goal of an IT audit is to make sure that your IT infrastructure is efficient, secure, and supporting your staff the way it was designed to.

To conduct a proper IT audit is a specialized skill that requires assembling and auditing team with the necessary skillsets, testing each individual system in the network, spotting areas of weakness or incompatibility, and then making targeted recommendations about how to improve each system.

When and why should a business choose to run an IT audit?

Let’s look at this overlooked but crucial IT management process and see what makes it such a powerful tool.


The Many Benefits of an In-Depth IT Audit

Armed with the report prepared by an IT auditors, your executives will be better prepared to make strategic technology decisions, budget more effectively, and mitigate risks throughout your business.

But those are just some of the reasons why a business may want to ask their IT partner to audit their technology. Here are some of the others: 

Strengthen Business and Technology Alignment

Businesses invest in their network technology to boost productivity, collaboration, and provide a better experience to their customers. The only way to achieve all three of those objectives is if your technology is configured to support your team and business goals. This is called business-technology alignment. Here are some examples:

  • Is your telecom infrastructure supporting work from home and remote productivity?
  • Are cloud systems and virtualized infrastructure well-integrated with legacy systems?
  • How are network appliances like VPNs and routers performing, are there network bottlenecks you need to address?
  • Are hardware and software systems updated to the latest versions, closing security backdoors?

Without the transparency and insight of an IT audit, bringing your technology into proper alignment will just be guesswork.

According to BizOps: Connecting to Business Outcomes published by the Harvard Business Review, nearly half of survey respondent reported that “the growing complexity of IT had fueled chaos in their organization.”

Strengthen Cybersecurity and Data Integrity

As business rely more on digital platforms for data collection and storage, managing cybersecurity risk has become a top priority for decision makers. This is especially true at legal services firms, financial services firms, and other companies that house sensitive customer data. A specific type of IT audit, known as a network security audit, is a common way to ascertain the overall security of a network environment.

During the security audit, a team of expert engineers analyzes how information moves through your systems, tests the effectiveness of your security controls, and makes notes of weakness. Security audits often reference an established cybersecurity guideline or framework, like the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework, to make those determinations.

The insight and intelligence in network security report is critical to securing a business. It allows your team to make security improvements and prioritize vulnerable systems and data, while also helping you to trim the fat from your security budget.


Build a More Effective IT Roadmap

In order for IT to stay effective and efficient, it must be proactive. Proactivity applies to IT support, which is why we’re such a strong believer in the managed IT service model, but it also applies to your technology strategy.

The IT roadmap is a document that outlines how your technology will evolve. Once your IT team or IT services partner has helped you develop an initial IT roadmap, you’ll need to keep that document fresh with periodic IT audits.

Here are some ways that an IT audit helps you plan better:

  • Locate areas of improvement and define a budget for future projects
  • Ensure new hardware and software are correctly integrated with legacy systems
  • Develop new security protections to safeguard your evolving business
  • Plan upgrades to maintain the stability of your systems

Ensure Long-term Regulatory Compliance

Many regulatory compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and FINRA require regular audits of your IT systems and compliance controls to ensure they’re functioning. Why are regular audits so important? Because as your network evolves by adding new users and data, it’s common for a network to fall out of compliance.

Due to the complex nature of compliance management, many organizations seek an outside expert like Complete Network for help. Based on your compliance needs, our team will design an audit that either assess your overall readiness or provides targeted insight into a particular aspect of your compliance controls.


When Do You Get an IT Audit?

When should your company reach out to a partner about arranging an IT audit? There are several circumstances that can precipitate an audit. Here are a few of the most common:

Your Business is Growing Quickly.
The sudden addition of new hires can put pressure on your IT infrastructure, straining network devices like firewalls and routers, on-premise storage, and cybersecurity tools. An IT audit is the best way to understand your technology pain points and build a clear plan for maximizing the impact of your growing team.

You’ve Experienced a Data Breach.
Well over half of all small and midsized businesses in the United States will experience a cybersecurity incident this year, according to the Ponemon Institute. A successful data breach or ransomware attack is a strong indicator there’s a problem in your IT management processes. Audit your technology and cyber defenses will help you uncover those shortcomings and mitigate the threat of a future infiltration.

Your IT Isn’t Meeting Your Expectations.
Are inefficient processes or workflows hurting productivity? You should conduct an in-depth IT audit to identify problem areas where your staff are struggling with your technology. That intelligence can be crucial to the success of a modernization project and will help ensure it produces the maximum possible benefit for your team.

Choose An IT Audit Partner with 20 Years of Customer Service Excellence.

Does your business in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Bluffton, South Carolina want deeper insight into its technology pain points? For over 20 years, we’ve been IT audit partner to businesses of all sizes, providing world-class engineering talent and a deep commitment to client success.

Contact our team any time at 877 877 1840 or [email protected] to learn more about our auditing process or chat with our friendly team. We look forward to helping you get more from your technology!

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

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