One of the most critical and fundamental steps in building a strategic IT plan is to regularly assess and audit the network. Yes, we all dislike the word “audit” but without an audit you cannot tell what is really going on inside. A network can appear to be fine when in fact the opposite may be true.
Smart Dolphins has built a best practices library that is based on a combination of our definition of a healthy environment and North American industry best practices. When we talk about auditing one of our client’s networks, what we are doing is reviewing their network against that best practices library and identifying any business risks associated with being out-of-alignment.
This process is conducted by our Virtual IT Managers (vITMs) during their scheduled site visits. It is the vITM’s job to conduct regular audits, assist the Virtual Chief Information Officers (vCIOs) and prioritize improvements. The vCIO then consults with the client to develop both a short and long-term IT roadmap.
An audit is critical because without one you cannot be strategic and your IT plan will only spell out the most obvious priorities (i.e. warranty renewals). An audit will help you know which issues you should be losing sleep over, so that you can start thinking about the next steps forward.
In 2018, we started offering IT assessments to non-clients. By providing this service, we have been able to equip business leaders with the technical knowledge they need to make important IT changes and along the way, we have developed some fintastic business relationships.