Ask a Geek: Why You Should Consider an IT Audit

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur Magazine|February 1, 2012

Q: Does my company need an IT audit? Will it improve our bottom line?

A: Business owners looking for practical recommendations to improve or leverage their information technology (IT) and gain critical efficiencies should consider conducting an IT audit. “An IT audit is an in-depth analysis of a company’s technical environment, including its existing computer applications, hardware infrastructure, IT plan and IT-related personnel,” says Nicole McMackin, managing partner at Irvine Technology, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based company that conducts such audits for businesses around the world. “The audit usually results in a detailed written report and guide that recommend a strategic business initiative pertaining to rightsizing internal and external IT practices and systems.”

We asked McMackin for the how, the why and the bottom-line benefits:

Q: When should business owners consider conducting an IT audit?

A: When IT budgets are out of line with current economic conditions–notwithstanding timely strategic initiatives–and when IT isn’t meeting the basic reporting requirements necessary to make tactical decisions in a rapidly changing or competitive marketplace. Another time to consider an audit is when human resource issues cause factions of competing interests that aren’t consistent with strategic direction. And also when IT projects consistently overrun budgets or consistently don’t meet expectations.

Q: How can business owners figure out when their IT budgets are out of line with economic conditions?

A: Unfortunately, there isn’t a formula. It’s more the ability of key executives to…

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