Sunday, February 5, 2012

IT Audits: How Long Do They Take?

IT audits should be limited to 4 hours. Use the checklist in this article to structure your IT audits.

Keep IT audits to within a half a day as a starting point.  If there’s more exploratory work that needs to be done, that should be an added fee and done at a later time.

Keep IT Audits Short and Sweet

Generally within four hours on-site for IT audits, you usually figure out exactly what’s going on, what should be done next, how to prioritize it, and what hardware and software and services, peripherals and other similar items they need to buy.

You'll obviously, know that you’re going to be proposing a bunch of follow-up tasks, so there’s plenty of time to come back and go into more depth after IT audits. When the meter isn’t running, don’t sit down at keyboards and do something that could end up getting you in hot water!

Your Timing Checklist

The way to keep IT audits limited to 4 hours is by coming up with a dozen or so different areas that you will look at. In that four hours, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to hit every PC or every issue. Here is how to allocate the timing.

o Half hour to an hour on a primary server.  
o If they have a secondary server, maybe another 15 or 20 minutes, 
o A few minutes on LAN hub infrastructure, 
o Looking at routers, CSUs, DSUs, DSL routers, hub switches in blocks of 10 or 15 minutes, making some general notes as to how it looks on visual inspection and some things you may notice with LADs or surge protection
o Half hour to 45 minutes on a couple representative PCs 

What are Representative PCs?

Who are the most important PC users in the company? Ask your main company contact. They will point you in the right direction. They might say something like, “Bob, he’s the one that takes care of all the billing and accounts payable.  You should definitely look at him. And you should definitely look at mine because I’m the owner of the company.”

You should be able to look at two to four PCs and get a pretty good idea as to what’s actually going on there with configurations, drive mappings, network protocols, whether they’re in relatively good shape or whether they’re a complete mess.

The Bottom Line about IT Audits

From IT audits, you should get a pretty good idea as to what the hottest priorities are, what should be addressed within the next week or two, what should be addressed in the next month or two and then what should go into more long-range planning.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Business Computer Consulting .com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

No comments:

Post a Comment