What is an IT audit?
An IT audit is a comprehensive investigation and evaluation of current IT infrastructure, as well as relevant policies and operations. By carrying out an IT audit, an organisation can determine if its existing IT systems are sufficient for the efficient and productive running of the company. It can also identify whether existing control is sufficient to ensure data integrity and align well with the company’s financial targets.
Most people have experience in auditing as a means of evaluating the financial position of a company however IT audits are a relatively new phenomenon. The goal of an IT audit is to ensure everything relating to a company’s IT infrastructure is as good as it can be for working towards the goals of the organisation.
IT auditors can come from the IT department within your company, but it can be prudent to work with an external IT auditor. They can function as an unbiased observer of the IT infrastructure and identify areas of concern whilst recommending changes and specific technologies that could offer improvements in things like:
- Customer Service
- Human resources
Why is an IT Auditor?
An IT auditor follows IT audit review procedures to test and evaluate all procedures within your company that rely on technology. This can include things like software applications, networks, security systems and communications as well as operational solutions like ERP, CRM and more. IT auditors follow established standards and play an essential role in ensuring that organisations are using the best technology in the best possible way for their needs and goals.
Why are IT audits important?
You invest heavily in your technology and you have a great deal of responsibility towards your customers and/or clients. It is crucial that you ensure your investments are well-placed and offer maximum benefits and returns. It is also important to establish whether or not your IT processes are adequate for maintaining and protecting the security of the data you have on hand.
IT audits are the perfect way to do this as they will analyse your IT infrastructure alongside your compliance obligations and company goals. This way, they identify areas of concern and offer insights and guidance into addressing them and moving your technology into the best possible place.
What are the benefits of an IT audit?
When you have a professional IT audit carried out, you reap the following benefits:
- Your technology is tested in line with established IT auditing standards.
- You can determine the scope and objectives of the audit.
- Detailed audit reports into the current state of your IT infrastructure are produced.
- The auditor will make recommendations on best practices for meeting your objectives.
- You will gain up-to-date documentation.
- Expert consultation is provided regarding the findings and recommendations of the audit.
- Guidance is provided to ensure all previous recommendations have been implemented effectively.
All of these benefits amount to a powerful way to enhance and optimise the use of IT by your company. If any of your systems are redundant, you will know. If there are weaknesses in your security or inefficiencies in your workflows, they will be found. If there are technologies out there that could improve the way you do things, they will be recommended to you. In a nutshell, you will be able to have greater confidence in your technology investments thanks to expert guidance based on proven standards and auditing techniques.
This is another reason it is helpful to work with an IT services provider for IT audits. They specialise in these specific processes, while your in-house IT team may not. They work to very specific guidelines and have a wealth of experience carrying out these audits. They are likely to have conducted audits with other organisations in your industry, so will have expert insights into things that relate to your specific needs. All of these things are important for ensuring you get the maximum benefit from your IT audit.
How do you carry out an IT audit?
IT audits are complex processes and there are established guidelines that professional IT auditors follow when conducting them. We strongly urge you to work with an IT services provider to have one carried out, but here is a basic illustration of what the process involves. You will need:
- Knowledge of the business and industry.
- Records of previous audit findings.
- Up-to-date financial information.
- A comprehensive list of regulatory statutes.
- Inherent risk assessments.
This all comes in the stage of gathering information and planning, then you are ready to move into gaining an understanding of the existing internal control structure. Here, you need to identify:
- The control environment.
- The control procedures.
- The detection risk assessment.
- The control risk assessment.
- The overall risk.
Once you understand all these things, you can begin planning how you will audit the IT infrastructure. All audits are different because all companies are different, so a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is important to guide your strategy. As you carry out the process, you will aim to produce standard documents that evaluate all the key areas that require scrutiny.
The evaluations should measure things like how effective processes are, the impact of inefficiencies, the level of risk associated with different processes and the relevant security measures and more.
As you can see, IT audits are complex and require a substantial level of specialist knowledge. It’s best to have people with experience in IT auditing conduct the process and you may be fortunate enough to have such individuals in your IT team. If you don’t, or if those individuals are already engaged in other important work, your best option is to approach an IT services provider that can handle the task.
The benefits of an IT audit are vast. Far too many businesses simply accept inadequate IT infrastructure, and so miss out on the huge efficiency gains that could be had if they were to rectify the situation.
IT audits could also prevent consequences that could arise from non-compliance with legal regulations surrounding things like data protection.
Technology moves fast, so it’s wise to regularly audit your IT infrastructure and identify ways in which you can make it better.
Why choose Eventura as your Managed IT Service Provider?
Eventura has been providing managed IT services and IT audits to countless customers for 20 years. Our talented team of people can help you identify all your businesses IT needs and engineer bespoke IT solutions that have real-world benefits to your business.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts and request an IT audit or any other IT services, you can request a free call back here.