Dive deep into your business future with an RBC Group technology audit
Health is everything. Just like your personal health determines how you function and your susceptibility to illness, the health of your technology affects your business operations and determines your vulnerability to system failure and cybercrime.
To establish the health of your business’s technology, RBC Group developed the ‘technology audit’ – a deep dive into your network to determine what is causing your IT symptoms now—and what could cause problems in the future.
We spoke with Michael Granata, National Information Systems Manager for RBC Group, to find out more about this highly specialised service.
What is involved in a technology audit?
Hard work amplified by intelligent data discovery and scanning tools! Most audits produce thousands of pages of data – so without going into the “geek” technical details, I’ll give you a general overview…
We undertake a technology audit the way a doctor would treat a new patient. We start with a ‘discovery session’ where we ask the client about the anecdotal symptoms they’re experiencing. This could be things like ‘the system slows down around 4pm every day’; or ‘our emails seem to take a long time to deliver, are regularly blocked, or slow to manage when you want to file emails into sub-folders’.
Once we have an appreciation of the client’s experience, we need to match it with evidence. To do this, we collect vast amounts of data, analytics, and history, then meticulously comb through this information to find the cause of the symptoms and identify any other potential concerns.
This deep dive covers everything from the security fabric and applications to user accounts and equipment hardware. We arm ourselves with massive amounts of data that we can analyse to find answers to the problems the client is experiencing – as well as potential problems that could cause issues down the track.
Why do businesses need a technology audit?
Prevention is always better than a cure, like looking after your health. If you can keep on top of things before they cause major issues, your business should run more smoothly.
Anyone can request a technology audit – whether they are a business owner or an IT consultant outsourcing the audit to RBC Group.
For our team, we are motivated to audit a business before taking on the role of technology partner for two main reasons:
- We want to understand the environment we are inheriting; and
- We want to provide the best value for money by identifying and solving problems early.
By determining the baseline health status of your technology, we can call out risk.
What do you mean by risk?
If you’ve got security vulnerabilities, especially given the increase in cybercrime and more people working from home regularly, your risk of delivering business becomes higher because your technology platform is your weakest link.
That’s the thing about technology – while it can achieve a lot for a business, if not implemented and maintained correctly, it can also be a huge risk – risk to your productivity, risk to your security, risk to your business.
A technology audit is designed to identify current and potential problems and mitigate the risk of issues like system meltdowns, cybercrime, licencing breaches, and warranty violations.
What are some issues an audit can uncover?
A myriad of complex issues can be unveiled through an audit, but one of the more common problems is user accounts and system access. The discrepancy between what businesses believe they have and what is enabled is often vastly different. Some examples include:
- A business with 50 employees on its payroll but 125 active user accounts. Not only does this have security risks but licencing implications which could prove extremely costly to your business, with six-figure fines and ongoing licence losses.
- Accounts with limited security features like passwords without complexity or never set to expire is the path of least resistance for cybercrime intrusion and gives people the ability to steal intellectual property and sensitive information.
- Accounts with remote access to email and company data that have not been disabled prove a huge security concern to the business and its employees.
How do you report on your audit?
While our research collates thousands of raw data pages, RBC Group strives to humanise technology and simplify the jargon, making it digestible and understandable for our clients.
We typically abbreviate the findings to about 60-70 pages in language and terminology that can be understood – not just by a business’s IT department but also by the management team. These findings can then be analysed with a greater focus on raw data when (and if) required.
We will give a percentage for ‘risk of failure’ and key areas contributing to this figure. For example, we might determine your risk for a security breach is 95%, with the underlying contributors being limited security functionality for the user, email, and core business database. The business or IT manager can then work on those areas and run the audit again in six to 12 months to determine how much it has improved.
It’s up to the client, but we always recommend fixing the issues to avoid long, costly interventions down the track.
If RBC Group conducts the audit because we are taking over as the client’s technology practitioner, we will insist the issues are fixed. As the new technology partners, we don’t want to inherit a risky environment – we want to call it out early and address the issues to ensure we’re providing value for money and maintaining a healthy system to protect your business.
Who would benefit from a technology audit?
Every business that relies on its technological systems would benefit from an audit – and depending on who is tasked with managing and maintaining your tech environment, you should consider one every 12 months at a minimum.
Who does RBC Group provide audits for?
RBC Group does technology audits for businesses and other IT consultancies that manage technology environments. Technology and business leaders often outsource an audit to RBC Group because they do not have the resources to perform such a comprehensive analysis.
As a technology practitioner, it’s good practise to undertake an audit when you start with a client so you can see a benchmark for the environment you’re taking over.
What is the cost?
It’s a fee for service, but if the client comes on with RBC as a managed client, the fee is rebated.