Why you should audit your IT systems annually
The shocking fact about business systems and technology is that they can go out of date very quickly.
How do you keep up with new technologies? How do you make sure you have a competitive advantage?
In this article, we will outline the simple steps your IT provider should be doing on an annual basis in order to keep you informed. As well as your business up to date with the latest IT technologies.
An annual IT systems audit should be set in the diary. When this takes place very much depends on your business operation. Moreover, a good rule of thumb is to carry out an audit before quieter times of the year.
This allows the business to plan any upgrades and projects to coincide with those quieter times. Also, this will cause less disruption to the business.
What’s entailed in an audit? Furthermore, how will your business benefit from it? Let’s cover these:
Age of equipment
An inventory of all IT equipment should be kept. This should include model numbers, manufacturer, and more importantly warranty status.
IT equipment which includes desktops, laptop, and servers tend to have a life cycle of between 3 – 5 years.
Correspondingly, maintaining an inventory with this information allows the business and IT provider to plan for upgrades. You can easily prioritise which machines should be renewed or upgraded using the inventory list.
Automation of your IT systems
The audit should also look to include an overview of manual tasks or problems in the business.
Is there a manual, repetitive task that could be automated? This could be something as easy as duplicate data input by a member of staff.
You might have 2 systems in place that require the same data to be input. Why not automate this so data is entered in only once?
Hence, automation is becoming more common in the workplace. Services such as Microsoft Power Automate and Zapier allow the business to work smarter, not harder.
Disaster Recovery Test
More insurance providers are now offering “Cyber Insurance”. It’s a critical insurance that any business that has been hacked will make a top priority when renewing.
A little known fact about cyber insurance is the need for a disaster recovery plan. With questions such as “how long will it take your business to recover” and “when was the last time your disaster recovery was tested?”
Therefore, this calls the need for at least an annual test of your recovery process. This should be included as part of an IT audit.