Technology is embedded in every business: it’s so important, that if it fails it can take a business down with it. Auditing the robustness of your firewalls, virus protection and ensuring your team members are aware of scams and phishing, should be ongoing and ever vigilant. But there are other areas of your IT system that need auditing on a regular basis.
IT Audits are critical to your business survival
With the start of the new financial year, it’s a good idea to carry out an audit now. It gives you a benchmark and will provide you with a list of actionable items.
What is an IT Audit?
It’s a process of collecting data and analysing it across all the technology and systems across your business. This should tell you where your business is sitting, from both a compliance and performance aspect.
Whether you are a franchisor or a business with multiple locations, these are the questions you should ask yourselves.
- Are all your locations compliant across all the systems they are using?
- Is there online brand consistency across all your locations?
- Is there additional training required for team members in problem areas?
- What benchmarks should each business location (versus the entire network) be measuring themselves against?
What should you include in an IT audit?
This kind of audit involves surveying all locations across the business network, to gauge where they currently sit at a given time, as far as IT compliance and best practice are concerned.
Key categories for an audit would include:
Back-ups and systems
- Is all virus protection regularly updated (minimum daily, ideally automated search for updates constantly)?
- How are back-ups managed internally and are they on devices that aren’t part of the network?
- What is the data retention and restoration plan in case of failures?
- Are protocols for IT support known to all team members?
- Are there protocols for regular changing of passwords and the secure recording of them?
- Is each business location’s online presence on-brand?
- Are businesses engaging successfully with customers through social media?
- What is the turnaround time in responding to any queries online?
- Is your SEO setup to optimise your appearance on organic searches?
- Is the website performing well when speed tests are carried out?
- Is there correct branding on all websites?
Project Managements systems
- Are your team members using the project management tools and systems correctly?
- Is all necessary data (legal and practical) input into the system?
- Is there training needed for team members to use the system correctly?
Local marketing (campaigns that are driven via social media / website)
- Are there adequate support systems for requesting products and distribution?
- Is the brand style guide followed for all instances of local marketing, by subsidiary offices or franchisees?
- Are there support systems for requesting assets and distribution?
Paid online advertising
- Ad campaigns can be set and forget but it’s important they are reviewed for their effectiveness regularly, and tweaked or cancelled if not providing results.
An IT Audit will help protect your corporate assets, determine any risks and ensure your processes are compliant with laws, policies and standards.