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Review your IT with these seven steps

Posted May 24, 2017
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Do you know if your IT systems are performing effectively and reaching their full potential? Is your business adequately protected against possible cyber-attacks?

By Brenton Harris, Managing Director

Understanding IT risks, opportunities, compliance regulations and security is crucial. We live in a technology and digital driven world where knowing the state of your IT can be the tipping point between achieving performance success and competitive advantage, to experiencing continuous productivity loss and missing profitable opportunities. It is vital to conduct periodic IT audits.

Maybe you have a basic idea of how efficient and effective your IT is, maybe you don’t… but, guess what? You’re not alone! Understanding the intricacies of your business infrastructure and systems is a challenge most businesses fail to achieve.

Conducting an IT review is the perfect way to take control of your IT this EOFY. The good news is that you don’t have to be extremely technical to conduct a basic IT review.

Although an IT review might sound daunting and scary, it can be a simple exercise. The main step? Determining the scope and objectives of what you want to achieve with the review. Then, create a basic strategy to make sure your business will understand and embrace the review so your findings will be addressed.

Do you know if your business is ready for an IT review? You can find out here.

It is recommended to seek assistance from an IT provider like Bremmar to guide you through a thorough IT review process. As an external provider, we can give you a 360 view of your IT and help with everything, from the basics, such as planning and implementation, to creating a complete IT roadmap for your business to follow.

Before setting your review scope and contacting an IT audit company, it’s a good idea to do your homework. This seven step checklist is a great starting point for your internal IT audit.

1. Backups

  • Do you know how much data history is retained in your backups?
  • Do you have confirmation that all critical applications and data is included in your backup?
  • Do you receive a report to confirm your backup is working correctly?

2. Disaster Recovery Plan

  • In the event of complete IT failure, do you know the estimated time to recover all IT functions?
  • Following a disaster, how old would the recovered system and data be?
  • In the event of power outage, do your server systems stay running for long enough to be shutdown correctly?

3. Security

  • Do you have inactive users? Active user accounts that haven’t been used in more than 3 months represent a high security risk.
  • Do you have adequate Antivirus protection? Antivirus on your computer is not all you need. Do you also have cloud email virus scanning, gateway scanning and website scanning? Ensure all traffic entering and exiting the organisation are scanned for threats.
  • Are IT policies in place? Actions such as implementing a quarterly forced password change for all users are recommended.

4. Licenses

  • Is all Microsoft licensing up to date?
  • Do you keep track of licensing so you know you are covered for everything installed on your computers?

5. Functionality and features

  • Can all staff easily find the information they need in the company filing system? New age document management systems are very intuitive for users and cost effective.
  • Would your staff benefit from being able to access company files and systems from a mobile or tablet?
  • Does your team have visibility to key business metrics for effective reporting?
  • Is your current phone system effective, and are call rates competitive?

6. Systems support check-up

  • Is your company covered by prompt and effective support?
  • Do you have someone reliable monitoring your IT systems for any problems or underlying risks?
  • Are your primary servers and other infrastructure covered under active warranty?

7. Check the Costs

  • Do you need all the agreements, licensing, contracts you have? It is good practice to regularly review your ongoing costs as subscriptions can be forgotten and their overall cost can significantly impact your IT budget without you realising it.
  • Do you have phone or internet lines you no longer require?

Are you ready to begin your IT review? 

Download your print-friendly checklist here!
Why conduct an external IT audit with Bremmar

It’s considered best practice in most industries to conduct periodic external audits to evaluate your IT systems. Regular external audits are essential to ensure data integrity and to provide assurance that your IT systems are properly protected from the risk of data loss or tampering, service disruption and inefficient management.

At Bremmar, our experienced auditors focus on providing actionable advice and guidance specific to your IT infrastructure and processes.  Using generalist auditors for IT-specific audits usually won’t deliver comprehensive results, so make sure you contact a specialist.

To find out more about how an IT audit can help your business, contact us today on 1300 991 351 or email enquiries@bremmar.com.au.

By Brenton Harris, Managing Director

As founder & Managing Director of Bremmar, Brenton has overseen the company’s growth through strong client relationships and robust financial management. Brenton is actively involved in the day to day running of Bremmar and has over 15 years’ experience delivering solutions to streamline and solidify his clients’ businesses. Brenton keeps staff on their toes and is best known at Bremmar for being on top of just about everything through KPI’s, reports and display screens.

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