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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Timing IT Audits

IT audits should be short and sweet. Typically within about four hours, you should know exactly what is going on within the company’s system, what needs to be done next, how you are going to prioritize the to-do list and what additional hardware, software or other products the company needs to buy.

Because you are proposing a lot of follow-up items, there will be plenty of time to come back for more in-depth work later, so you don’t want to get too involved right away. IT audits should provide an overview of issues, not immediate solutions or total fixes.

A CHECKLIST KEEPS YOU ON TIME

Limiting IT audits to four hours is as easy as coming up with about a dozen different areas you will be addressing. Because you can’t look at every single PC or item in one four-hour period, keeping it to these twelve most important things can help you stay on target. The following is an example list of items and their time allocations:

1. Half an hour to an hour on the primary server, which maybe another 20 minutes allotted to a secondary (if available).
2. A few minutes (15) on LAN hub infrastructure
3. A search for various routers and hub switches, 10 to 15 minutes at a time while making some notes on what you find or additional observations about LADs or surge protection.
4. Half an hour to 45 minutes on a few “representative PCs.”


WHAT IS A “REPRESENTATIVE PC”?

A representative PC is one attached to the most important PC users in the company. You can find out who these people are by asking your company contact directly. Looking at two to four representative PCs will give you a good idea of what is happening with configurations, drive mappings, network protocols, and what kind of shape they are in.

IT audits should give you plenty of information about what the hot spots are for a company, what can wait a few weeks or a few months to address and also what can go into the to-do list for a long-term plan. But they should be as short as possible while still giving clients a clear idea about how their systems are functioning.

Created By: Computer Consulting 101