Most companies conduct routine assessments on all of their major departments, except for their information technology (IT) services. The IT department in a large organization is often expected to handle its own management and policing due to the complexity of their work. Even if you can't accurately complete an IT assessment yourself, you should find a consultant capable of giving your department a checkup to catch these five serious and common problems that could affect the rest of your business.
Cyber Security Risks
First, even the best IT department can't prevent all cyber security risks without at least an occasional assessment to find out what they're missing. IT departments set policies designed to protect every employee from exposing sensitive data or downloading malware, but they usually have very little power to enforce those policies or monitor if they're being followed. An IT assessment may reveal problems in other departments that aren't originating with the IT team at all. In these cases, only tracking down the actual breakdown in cyber security procedures will truly get rid of that risk for good.
The sheer volume of information generated by any business today can create problems for the IT department, which are known as event floods. These event floods involve a large number of complaints all being received in a short time, leading to an overwhelmed team that has trouble determining which issues to deal with first. Third-party IT assessments are particularly valuable when event flooding is interrupting your business and you're not sure how to adapt your IT department to prevent the disruption. Simply hiring a larger team to tackle the problems is not necessarily the answer if a large percentage of the events being reported are false and easily ignored. An in-depth assessment breaks down the individual components of an event flood so the causes can be traced and dealt with to prevent them from occurring in the future.
In some companies, the IT department receives a support ticket or call for every minor question or task that should be handled by the employees on their own. This can occur due to subtle company culture clues or outright policies indicating the IT department must be consulted for practically every computer-related change or question. Building a database of information related to the systems and equipment your companies uses regularly can prevent this over-dependence which prevents your IT team from focusing on more serious maintenance and upgrade cycles. An assessment will identify why users are asking for IT support and how many of these requests could be handled in another way.
Other companies have the opposite problem and find themselves with hostility or mistrust towards the IT department. This kind of attitude can be even harder on a company because it leads to problems going unreported until they've caused major damage in data loss, compromised trade secrets, and more. An IT assessment includes discussions with other departments to determine how they view the IT team and what could be done to create a better relationship between them. This information alone can make an assessment well worth its cost.
Finally, almost every company has some kind of local, state, regional, and federal regulations to follow when handling the data of customers, patients, partners, or clients. A single gap in the compliance of your IT department could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fines that your company must pay. Maintaining compliance with multiple and sometimes conflicting standards is tricky enough with an experienced team. A third-party consultant can work through your records to catch any compliance issues before anyone else does.