Conduct an IT Audit in 6 Easy Steps
You can’t manage an IT system effectively if you don’t know what it’s made of. It’s easy to lose sight of what makes up your IT ecosystem, especially if IT is not your only responsibility at work. Keeping track of IT systems is increasingly more difficult with emerging technologies.
In order to develop an IT strategy for the future, it’s important to take an occasional pulse on your existing IT systems. Here are six easy steps to perform a simple IT audit:
1. Start with the hardware
Bring your own device policies have made it easier to lose track of the hardware being used in the business. Some policies don’t just allow employees to bring in personal devices; they allow those with access to departmental budgets to purchase hardware without running it through IT.
Your accounts department should be able to give you the official list of what hardware has been purchased. But other purchases might not have been given an “IT” code when run through accounts.
Now is a good time to survey department heads to see what’s actually in use. You’re likely in for some surprises. You’ll likely find some employees working on devices they own and others working on devices the company bought.
2. Good records make for good decisions
You can track the findings in a basic spreadsheet, but it’s better to use a dedicated desktop management app.
Knowing what’s actually happening will help you determine if there are better ways to pay for the technology your company needs.
3. Check use-by dates
Keep an eye out for PCs, servers, printers, and other office hardware that’s close to end-of-life or end-of-lease. Work with your account department and suppliers to put together a plan for phasing out old equipment and phasing in new equipment.
4. Software audit
Find out what software is running on your machines – and which machines it’s running on. Ask what budget was used to buy it. Again, this information will help you make better decisions in the future.
Remember, software can also have a use-by date if the vendor isn’t going to support it. And software as a service (SaaS) subscriptions can also expire.
Find out if employees are subscribing to their own cloud solutions using corporate funds. Even when those services are paid for on corporate credit cards, they can slip through accounting because they aren’t assigned to the right budget.
5. Security focus
Security software, like antivirus apps, virtual private network solutions, and encryption, needs special attention. Check to make sure your license or subscription has not expired – you don’t want to find your license or subscription has lapsed when it’s key to your defenses.
6. Finish with a walk
Just by walking the floors, you’ll be amazed at what hardware and software use you spot that wasn’t picked up in any other process. Take inventory of your findings.
Put Your Audit into Action
So you’ve completed an IT audit. Now what? Use your findings to determine which technologies need to be replaced, renewed or recycled.
Make sure purchases for new hardware and/or software are prioritized and worked into your company’s IT budget. Schedule time to conduct a simple IT audit at least once a year to continue to plan for the future.
Think Can Help
An in-depth, professional analysis of your company’s IT systems can assist in driving future technology goals for your business. Think Network Technologies offers a variety of IT solutions and services, including professional IT audits.
For more information about how we can support your business, contact us.