Dec 10, 2020 Admin

IT Consulting

The Most Reliable IT Assessment Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Technology has helped businesses grow at a lightning pace in this digital age. But, any small loophole in your IT environment can cause major havoc in your routine business operations. It’s important to stay alert about the current security levels in IT infrastructure. Is it good enough to prevent external cyber attacks, data breach, or malware incidents? Are your technology systems updated without any vulnerability? Do you have established robust security policies, procedures, and guidelines for securing your business environment? If you feel hesitant to answer any of these questions, you should consider teaming up with an expert IT consultation services provider for assessing your existing technology infrastructure for implementing robust information security measures. 

Besides that, you should also prepare a solid IT assessment strategy for identifying weak areas in your organization, requiring immediate attention and technology overhaul. To help you out, we’ve prepared a detailed IT assessment checklist to ensure your busy stay operational with any information security failure. 

But before we disclose the key items in an IT assessment checklist, let’s first understand: 

What Exactly is IT Assessment? 

IT assessment, in simplest words, refers to the process of assessing the overall strength and weaknesses of IT systems in an organizational network, as well as, suggest methods for improving system security, network design, and overall IT infrastructure. 

For making such interventions, an IT consultation services provider will require full access to your company networks, IT facilities, and other relevant information. By analyzing all the data and systems present in your “digital environment,” a well-rounded assessment can be done by your technology partner. 

Key areas that are examined during an IT assessment includes: 

  • System/Data Security
  • Network Design 
  • Mobile Device Management 
  • Technology Management 
  • Server Infrastructure 
  • Data Storage fasciitis 
  • IT security and administration police 
  • Network software 
  • Etc. 

The possible difficulties that you face during an IT assessment are the lack of control and sensitive business data leakage to third-party vendors. It’s crucial you work with trusted IT consulting companies, having a solid market reputation. They comply with your internal work policies and guidelines while handling IT assessment duties. 

Why Should You Have an IT assessment?

As time and technology advances, companies are forced to evaluate and keep up with these ongoing changes, keeping the current business needs in mind. 

However, most companies may find it difficult to align with the change, which sometimes results in inviting risks. IT assessment solutions can assist companies by running a software or application IT assessment program in phases and provide requisite recommendations to mitigate the risks.

Before employing a benefits management solution for a thorough assessment, it is essential to understand the closure of the assessment. Moreover, what is affecting the business and ways to improve them.

The purpose of any assessment is to also check how much damage an organization's assets have incurred. Moreover, a prediction of threat events that could impact the business highly is also covered in the IT assessment.

The IT assessment checklist thereby underlines the areas on which the improvements can be made, such as security deficiencies, disaster recovery, backup failures, misconfigurations, and many more.

Benefits of IT Assessments Checklist

Some of the best practices recommended by professional IT service providers help in building a strong foundation as well as future-ready plans.

There are 7 potential benefits for preparing a checklist for your IT Assessment

1. IT Inventory

IT assessment checklist can provide you the number of hardware you possess along with their actual age. This checklist helps in purchasing new hardware and replacing them with non-functioning ones for business continuity.

2. Backups and Recovery 

Preparing an assessment checklist also helps the company understand the need for backups and recovery plans. Service providers can train employees and customers to have requisite backups during the assessment which can help them in restoring essential data at the time of disaster.

3. Technology Stack

A compiled checklist acts as a succor for the company to perceive the technology stack they are using. The integration of latest technology services, such as chatbot development services, artificial intelligence solutions, blockchain development services, AR & VR solutions, IoT and big data services.

4. Environmental Assessment 

The checklist has a compiled list of types of equipment, process, and technology stack for assessment. Through a checklist, you can also assess and identify environmental issues, such as incorrect equipment mounting, hardware wires on a firewall, water sprinklers mounting positions, and much more. 

5. Security Checks

The checklist is purposefully made to scrutinize the security measures of the system, software, and network. Moreover, with the help of an IT assessment checklist, the service provider also assesses the devices interacting with users and the company. This helps in potential security issues identification and requisite security certification and practices for long-term success. 

6. Easy to Read

An IT assessment checklist makes it easy for business owners and employees to read the assessment report. This report gives complete transparency of the current situation of the resources, which helps in taking the right steps cost-effectively. 

7. Improved Communication and Motivation 

The assessment checklist brings awareness of the complete IT infrastructure. Complete transparency aid in better communication necessary for taking the right security measures and better decision-making. The checklist helps in prioritizing what is most vulnerable or needs immediate attention. Hence, with the help of workforce knowledge, companies can improve their security, reinforce infrastructure, and boost productivity.

Now that you’ve got an idea about IT assessment works, let’s look at the key points you should look for: 

Checklist to Consider During an IT Assessment

Checklist to Consider During an IT Assessment

1. Hardware and Software Capabilities

Be honest and ask the following questions to yourself: 

  • How long have you been using our computer systems? 
  • What type of antivirus software do you use? 
  • How frequently updates are installed in your critical systems
  • When was the last time system security got compromised by an employee? 
  • Do all your systems have high-processing power?

If you get nervous and insecure answering any of the above questions chances are high your technology infrastructure is not optimized for security and performance. 

Remember your security is as strong as a potential technology security loophole in your IT environment. So never compromise by using outdated systems and applications for lowering your operating costs. It can be the entry point for a potential cyber attack that can harm your business reputation badly. 

Make sure you conduct regular audits for assessing your network infrastructure, including workstations, printers, scanners, conference room equipment, and so on. 

2. Data Storage and User Access

Data storage should be an integral part of your IT assessment strategy. You should analyze how your critical data is stored, what systems are used, and how it is backed up. Security precaution and disaster recovery precautions should fall under your ongoing assessment. A common intervention is to store your mission-critical data at two, or even three places. Such bifurcation keeps you operational in emergencies too. Don’t forget to take incremental backups of such data weekly. Besides that, you should identify people in your IT department, as well as, senior management to take feedback on the existing system. Ask questions like how they usually access the network, what they like, and what doesn’t. Make security improvements based on that feedback to advance protection. 

Also Read: Are You Ready With Your Disaster Recovery Plan

3. Disaster Recovery Plan 

Do your business have a solid IT disaster recovery plan in place in case of any emergency strikes. The present COVID-19 pandemic is a great example of this where businesses having resilient backup systems and technology infrastructure continued their operations without any difficulty. Businesses that were ill-prepared performed purely in the remote work environment as they lack knowledge about how to arrange remote working capabilities using cloud solutions. 

4. On-premise/Cloud Storage 

If you’re a business that has relied on on-premise data storage facilities to run your critical systems for long,  it’s high time you switch to cloud solutions for better performance, accessibility, and security. But, this does mean you shift the entire infrastructure over the cloud. Strategize carefully by splitting data across three locations, including on-site, off-site, and cloud. This gives you better flexibility and storage access if an emergency strikes. 

When working with an expert cloud computing consulting services consider things like 

  • Where you will store files and data in cloud storage?
  • What cloud services provider you’ll work with - Google Cloud, AWS, and Azure? 
  • Does your cloud service partner meet compliance requirements and maintain privacy? 
  • Who would be responsible for updates? 

5. Governance, Risk, and Compliance 

Examining your existing IT policies, procedures, and governance model should be a part of your IT infrastructure assessment checklist.  Check where your existing policies clearly define what information needs to be protected, areas where critical data is stored, and people involved in ensuring robust network security. You should alter your existing policies in a way that they can accommodate new technology or system changes. For example, the growing usage of mobile devices among employees is enabling separate BYOD procedures and rules in global enterprises. List each of the specific technology challenges your business has presently related to information security and then customize related policies accordingly to instil better control and transparency. 

6. Password Protection 

Communicate information frequently to your employees about the password protection measures they should undertake at work. It’s not a good idea if someone in your team has a password something like “password123” and “company123. Such passwords are prone to cyber attacks and can be broken down in minutes. Instructing employees to enable two-factor authentication, use password generation tools, and avoid emails with spam links. 

7. Partner IT Security Specialists 

Having an in-house IT department that takes care of all your network administration and security needs is good. But, complementing your in-house capabilities with the expertise of outsourced IT consulting services allows you to smartly rectify security issues and eradicate them faster. Such third-party vendors have specialized resources and years of experience to guide you in the right direction and provide optimum information security solutions. Working with an outsourced IT consulting partner is never a bad idea where you lack time and dedicate resources in-house. 

Key Items Necessary for IT Assessment Checklist

Cleaning of the unnecessary software and applications is requisite for the optimum health of your system. This cleaning is an integral part of the IT assessment solution, which consists of IT planning and strategy focusing on the current state, defining a path for the future, and identifying loopholes to patch and move ahead. 

Existing Shape of the Business

This is the first step to check the list of software and systems in an IT assessment. Here, the complete review of the company goals, visions as well as objectives are made and ensured that all the compiled information follows the current AS-IS status of the Information Technology department. The process is followed by -

  • Identifying, collecting, and analyzing all IT documentation.
  • Interviewing IT customers, staff, key stakeholders, business owners, and vendors. 
  • Identification of changes made in the artefacts or recently added in the IT documentation.

The process of reviewing and assessing people must be comprehensive, such as job titles, performance, skills, organizational structure, engagement level, relationship with the customer, training, and communication channel utilized. 

The process assists in developing a clean and perfect IT strategy roadmap, which also includes requisite software migrations and upgrades of process, policy, and technology. 

The technology assessment of this phase also includes a diagram of data architecture, network architecture, application architecture, and hardware architecture. It also includes a complete inventory assessment of vendors, applications, and end-user computing.

Future-Oriented Analytics and Comparison

In order to have a perfect roadmap to help you attain the business goals while reducing risks, this phase becomes essential in an IT assessment. After the complete examination and identification of the potential elements, companies can establish a specific level of products and services. 

Along with supporting the business vision, strategies, and goals, this phase also focuses on the following aspects.

  • The number of resources needed to support business vision, inclusive of SLA level & governance.
  • Comparison of business vision with the competitor's vision.
  • Which technology stack is requisite to support the business vision?
  • Assessing the ability of vendors to comply with future assessments.
  • Assessing the best practices requisite.
  • Establishment of SLA metrics & scores.
  • Assessment of core and strategic IT services for internal management.

Well-defined Plan for Fixing Gaps 

The final stage involves the identification and analysis of the first two phases by comparing them. The critical comparison presents gaps, critical information, that have the potential to influence the future ROIs, dependencies, and risks imposed in the system or software. 

Hence with a perfect IT disaster and recovery plan, after the complete IT assessment, gaps can be patched along with the absolute alignment of IT and organizational ability with the business vision.

Selecting the Right Professional Service Provider

Finding a perfect professional service provider for a complete and substantial IT assessment can be challenging.

Since most of the IT consulting and product engineering services providers claim to offer the optimum assessment services. In order to ensure that you have picked the right one, you can know more about them through this set of questions. 

To Conclude

If you’re also looking for outsourced IT assessment services, then join hands with A3logics - the global leader in IT consulting and security services. Our cyber security experts perform robust IT assessment for your business, track issues, provide recommendations, and deliver solutions to change the way your technology systems work.

Drop us a line to know more about our IT infrastructure consulting services. 

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