In order to be able to run a successful company, you need to know that your UK business has the right level of IT support in place. The only way to really know this is to perform an IT audit that assesses what IT assets you have, what they are used for, whether they are efficient, and where there are gaps in your IT infrastructure. But what exactly is an IT audit, what is involved, how is it done, and what are the benefits of hiring an outsourced IT support team in London to carry it out? Here’s the answers to those questions.
What is an IT audit?
An IT audit takes a look at your existing technology infrastructure and systems, including all servers and machinery, mobile devices, apps, etc, to give a comprehensive overview of what IT assets you currently have. Aligned with an IT roadmap, this will give your organisation the insights it requires regarding what gaps need to be filled, and what upgrades and IT investments need to be put in place to maintain business continuity, provide the services you offer clients or customers, and allow for growth and innovation in a secure and efficient way.
The IT audit should also outline any necessary policies that need to be updated, and staff training that will be required in order to meet the demands of expansion.
It should also assess whether the software, hardware and processes you currently have in place are sufficiently secure to protect the organisation’s data, network and systems, and that these are supported by effective tools and IT support.
That means an evaluation of your day to day operations, quality management system, data protection, IT support, security culture and protocols, backup and disaster recovery capabilities, amongst other components of your IT infrastructure, to give an overall health check of your company’s IT.
How is an IT audit done?
A reputable outsourced IT support service will perform a preliminary audit of all of your IT assets to understand how many devices are in use and what they are used for. They will then run a series of scans and assessments to gather information regarding how efficient these components are, including data mapping to understand how information flows through the organisation, identify where there are any weaknesses or signs of required upgrades, such as with an ageing server, an ineffective firewall, or redundant apps or systems, and highlight where cost savings could be made.
The organisation’s business continuity plan will also be assessed to evaluate how easily the company can continue to perform business-critical processes in the event of an unforeseen event such as a natural disaster, or a cyber security incident.
Of course, the IT assets are only one part of the company, and your IT support team should also work with the organisation’s stakeholders to understand what they see as the primary functions of the IT infrastructure. In other words, what do they want to get from their IT support, and what are their business goals? With this understanding the IT support team can outline a detailed plan for growth in line with the company’s ambitions and ability to invest in further IT assets, in order to provide the upgrades needed within an agreed budget.
It can also be a very worthwhile endeavour to talk to the staff on the ground to understand how the company’s IT support is currently working, whether it is making life easier or more difficult, what tools they wish they had (such as mobile devices for remote working), what they rarely use, and what tech issues they face on a regular basis. This too will help inform on the level of upgrades required, and where cost savings could be made.
What are the benefits of an IT audit?
The main aim of an IT audit is to provide your company with an outline of the upgrades or investments (if any) you need to make in your business in order to keep running efficiently now and into the future, and a plan to put these in place.
Other benefits include:
- The identification of immediate requirements, such as weak security, which require fixes and upgrades as soon as possible.
- It sets a standard from which to improve by highlighting weaknesses to create solutions that will help improve efficiency and optimise productivity
- It identifies inefficiencies and cost saving opportunities - The IT audit will recognise IT assets that are no longer being used and which can therefore be replaced or removed, as well as assets that are outdated and impacting on productivity or in danger of disrupting business processes, and can suggest alternatives, such as moving from an old server to cloud computing
- It helps with financial planning by outlining everything you need to improve your business, so you can invest in the necessary resources to bring your organisation up to speed, and keep the CFO happy
What do you do after an IT audit?
Your IT audit may not necessarily make for happy reading, but within it will be the pathway to business success and growth, so it is worth taking the recommendations on board and acting on them as soon as you can within your IT budget.
Your outsourced IT service can provide the action plan so that you have a clear idea of the steps to take.
Faced with a seemingly endless series of break-fix scenarios and maintenance, your in-house IT team may not be able to manage this project, which is why hiring the same outsourced IT service to implement the necessary changes can be the best course of action. Not only will they be familiar with your IT infrastructure and what needs to be done, they will know the best ways to go about making upgrades happen, and can implement them without any disruption to daily processes.
They can also act as a virtual CTO to provide ongoing monitoring and maintenance of your IT infrastructure to identify future gaps or weaknesses, and take a proactive approach to machine maintenance that will ensure your IT assets are working to the optimum levels at all times.
On top of that, they can also bring further cost efficiencies through volume licensing of the hardware and software you need to upgrade to, passing their savings on to you.
The team at Optimity can provide the IT audit service your business needs to give you a clear idea of the upgrades and improvements you need to make to ensure your business runs smoothly and is fully supported and protected now and in the future.
Get in touch to find out more, or get started by booking an IT audit now: