It would be easy to dismiss the value of conducting a thorough IT audit. After all, you spend forty hours per week focused on your environment already – well, maybe more like fifty – so you’d probably notice if anything was wrong, right?
Not so fast. One problem with that approach is that most IT professionals have their hands full already, so stepping back for a full review is not exactly easy to fit in. With multiple projects on the go at any time, who needs yet another task to juggle?
A second issue is that familiarity can sometimes be the enemy as much as it can help. There’s a reason that regularly scheduled audits are best practice – combining fresh eyes and complementary expertise with your intimate knowledge of your systems offers some serious growth opportunities.
Generally, getting an IT audit specialist involved means that you get the insight of someone who works with a lot of different businesses from multiple industries. Aside from sharing their experience of what works – and what doesn’t – our specialists often find that introducing customers can be advantageous for all involved. If you’ve been wrestling with specific challenges, chances are that we know someone who has real world experience of the possible solutions. Best of all, we even connect customers who end up doing business together.
A handy aspect of experience is that a good technology partner will often have learned different tricks to get more out of the tools you already have available. It might be a few minutes setting up a shortcut, tweaking a formula or a macro that saves days every month.
The effect is not only felt in the IT department either – good IT auditors talk with key users in many departments, learning how they leverage IT and identifying where their role can be better supported. We’ve seen end results where customer-facing staff have been able to solve problems faster and cross-sell more profitably, simply from minor adjustments.
A good audit isn’t all just about time saving and efficiency though, it is also about aligning technology with business aims. It is remarkable how often an organisation has most or all of the tools to offer a new service, or increase customer loyalty, with the people and equipment they already have in-house. Especially when those people have been freed up for a few extra days each month.
Some of the best results we have seen are where we’ve been able to recommend options for more meaningful collaboration between users. In some cases, this has brought together an extraordinary range of skills from multiple locations. Experienced IT auditors are very good at seeing possibilities and asking ‘what if?’ Sometimes, the answer can secure the next phase of your business.
Finally, an independent IT audit can often confirm what you already suspect – and outline the opportunities and risks your business faces. This can serve to support discussions around budgeting, planning and growth opportunities. When the health of your business is vital, it is worth scheduling regular check-ups.