Wondering if you should invest in an information technology assessment? Let’s put it this way: When you’re experiencing a health issue, you make an appointment with your doctor. If your kitchen sink starts leaking, you call a plumber. If you want to invest your money and avoid making any harmful decisions, you seek out a financial advisor — right?
The same idea applies to informational technology at your company. In order to get the bigger picture on problems you may experience with your IT, you need to get in touch with an expert who can conduct an assessment.
But, what exactly does an IT assessment cover? What does a provider do during an IT assessment, and what can you expect to learn afterwards? We’re here to explain everything you need to know about an IT assessment, including what it entails and key benefits you can expect, once you decide to invest.
What is an IT Assessment?
An IT assessment is the process of evaluating the overall strength and weaknesses of IT systems in an organizational network, to determine methods for improving system security, network design, and overall IT infrastructure.
Information security is one of the most important aspects of a business, to maintain a secure digital environment. With the uptick in cyber-attacks around the globe, it is important to become aware of any potential security risks your company’s IT system might encounter.
When you invest in an IT assessment, the best option is to hire a reliable IT consulting service provider and give them full access to both your digital and physical environment.
An IT consultation service provider will examine these key areas during an assessment:
- System Security
- Mobile Device Management
- Data Security
- Network Software
- Server Infrastructure
Form making sure your systems are up-to-date with the latest security software, ensuring your employees are using the proper precautions with their mobile devices and providing recommendations on how you can improve the security of your data across the board, an IT assessment provider looks at every nook and cranny related to your company’s IT.
Why Should You Conduct an IT Assessment?
Similar to a car engine, the technology that supports your business processes drives your company forward.
Even if there’s nothing notably wrong with your car’s engine, you might get a yearly tuneup to make sure everything is in tip-top shape, and identify potential problems before they snowball. In a similar way, an IT assessment from a professional IT consultation service provider can help give you a deeper look into the IT at your business and identify potential weaknesses that need to be addressed, to ensure they don’t cause problems in the future.
The technology and network behind your day-to-day operations need routine support so that your company’s performance is not affected by any potential security risks. In general, information technology involves cost-effective long-term planning and the identification of risks, which in turn help reduce the chance of threats. In short, an IT assessment is one of the best decisions you can make for your business, to help ensure it runs smoothly down the road.
The Benefits of an IT Assessment
Getting an IT assessment is not just about discussing and recommending the best hardware, or malware protection software for your company. In conversation with the most popular IT managed service companies, we found that providers will also give you advice on best practices in the industry that can help you develop and maintain sustainable strategies in the long run.
More than just offering a red light or green light on your processes overall, an IT assessment gives you insights into many different parts of your business, from employee practices to customer data safety and more.
Top benefits of IT assessment that can help your business continue growing and thriving include:
Recognizing Vulnerable Spots: In order to maintain trust and a positive brand reputation, you need to offer your customers or clients a safe space for all the sensitive information they provide you with. A professional risk assessment can help you determine whether this type of data is at risk. External cyber-attacks, data breaches, and malware incidents are more common than you think, which is why spotting information security risks ahead of time is valuable.
Authorizing Security Requirements: The most valuable aspect of the assessment procedure is the credible information gathered during the operation. This data may be used to create new security policies and manage network issues. A network risk assessment is as vital as any other component of your system.
Reducing Risk of Misconfiguration: Your company can reduce system vulnerabilities in the cloud environment by carrying out the specific configuration adjustments that are recommended during the cloud security assessment.
Improving Resiliency: Sometimes security breaches happen, but in those situations it is important to recover as quickly as possible. An IT assessment can help you with suggestions and most efficient response actions in the event of unfortunate or unexpected situations.
Establishing a Performance Benchmark: If you’re not measuring your actions, how will you know whether they’re actually successful? What an assessment can help you with is setting a baseline of performance that can become your “cheat-sheet” you can always turn back to. When things get out of hand and drop below the drawn line, you will quickly become aware of issues that need to be resolved, thanks to this baseline. You can get an early warning for security breaches or inefficient processes simply by following the established baseline.
Reducing Chances of Missed Signals: The cloud security assessment team’s suggestions can assist your company in improving its capacity to identify and respond to compromise. This way, you can avoid a minor issue from becoming a full-blown breach.
Enhancing Performance: You will become able to identify all of the chances for enhancing efficiency that your company is missing. For example, there may be bottleneck scenarios, when the amount of users during peak demand causes a decline in performance or possibly service outages. An IT team can give you suggestions on how to work around peak demand and enhance your overall performance.
Reducing Employe Error: Employee error is potentially one of the most dangerous risks that many companies face. Innocent mistakes are sometimes committed simply because your team was not adequately educated in the safest procedures and careful company operations. One of the best uses for an IT assessment is managing systemic problems like this, as your employees will learn more about potential risky situations that they can face, and how to handle them.
Providing Additional Employee Education: All of the information obtained from an IT checkup may be used to enhance employee performance across the board, such as how to detect phishing attack emails and other cyber attacks.Assessments will also help to remind your staff of your company’s dedication to security and appropriate processes.Maintaining the integrity of your systems by reinforcing employee guidelines is an excellent strategy to keep everything on track.
Cost-Effective Planning: When preparing budgets for the following year, it is critical to have good reasoning for your spending. The facts of your cloud assessment will help you rationalize future expenditure and explain the long-term benefits of the purchases you want to make. All of this information also helps you decide which security requirements should be prioritized in your IT budget.
Becoming More Familiar with Your Hardware: Do you understand every piece of technology you own? What exactly does it do? What is it used for? Is it the best solution for the task at hand? A network assessment can help you better understand your hardware inventory and all of its possibilities. There might be some basic, not costly improvements you can make that will help you make your operations more efficient.
Due Diligence Record: Having documented evidence of these assessments and the actions you take can help protect your company from a variety of legal ramifications. It may be offered to insurance providers, government agencies, business partners, and even new customers or clients as evidence of your security and risk mitigation processes.
Wrapping Up on IT Assessment
Simply put: It might be tough to retain objectivity when reviewing your company’s activities and actions on your own, or with a fully internal team. You want to give your information technology performance a fair appraisal, but having an outside viewpoint will help you get a bigger picture of your operations, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.
Are your systems prone to breaches or cyber-attacks? Do you have strong security policies, procedures, and guidelines in place to protect your business environment? Are you employees adhering to best practices and using their devices with the proper restrictions, to avoid a data breach? All of these questions will be answered with a thorough IT assessment, conducted by a professional IT consult provider.
An assessment will help you establish a foundation of security strategies and identify risks that leave you open to attack. That way, your company will operate in a more secure manner, providing a safe space for the information your customers or clients share with you, and educating employees so they can react properly in moments of crisis.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for SEO Thugs.