Have you been procrastinating in conducting an IT assessment? An IT assessment is a detailed document that pulls together all the components of your IT network to determine what an organization has, how it’s being used, and how it can be improved for the future. This includes software and hardware, data storage, and security as well as feedback from users on what works and what isn’t working well.
Your IT Assessment Checklist
Your business success is tied directly to technology. The challenge with that is that data requirements have outgrown current IT infrastructure and the cost and complexity to upgrade is daunting and often postponed.
Software and Hardware Inventory
This phase of the IT assessment documents all the software and hardware owned by the organization, including every computer, server, router, switch, and Wi-Fi access point. Document every operating system, including the version number, software on the servers, and any important desktop software. Confirm that the number of software licenses matches the software that is in use.
Backup and Recovery
Data storage and business continuity are crucial components of any IT network. An assessment should include the amount of data being managed, where it is stored, and how it is backed up. Security precautions and current disaster recovery plans should also be a part of the assessment. A common way to protect critical data is to use two identical, or redundant, servers. If one server crashes, the other can be utilized. Another option is a hybrid cloud backup system, where data is backed up on a hard drive an on the cloud.
Which employees have access to your network? Talk to a representative group of employees for their opinions about the current system. Ask them how they usually access the network, what they like about it, what they don’t like and what changes they would like to see. Your employees are often aware of vulnerabilities before anyone, so ask them if they think the network is secure. During your IT assessment, document all security hardware or software in use to stop intruders and monitor intrusion attempts.
Current maintenance schedules, planned system upgrades, and updates to the IT network need to be included in your IT assessment. This is primarily a budget assessment. For example, supporting different versions of operating systems and different brands of computers can be expensive compared to supporting standardized desktops and laptops all with the same operating system.
Pro Tip: In some cases, you’ll find that the cost of buying new systems can be recouped by reduced IT maintenance.
Technology decisions can be daunting, which is why most small to medium-sized businesses use an outside IT consultant with a fresh perspective. Through on-site analysis and interviews with key figures, their report should define IT operational goals and identify current technology gaps.
Connect with us to get started on your IT assessment and start preparing your business for growth.