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5 Benefits of an IT Assessment

Posted by James Bierly on May 1, 2019 11:34:00 AM
James Bierly
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Has your business grown in the last few years and are facing new IT challenges? Every day the news mentions cyber security threats, but can you remember the last time you updated some of your hardware? How do you prioritize your needs and address outside cyber threats? An IT Assessment can give insight to your current IT state and how you can improve.

The IT Assessment Program is designed to perform an analysis of your infrastructure and workflow to provide guidance in several areas related to IT and cybersecurity.

Here are five ways Access Systems’ IT Assessment Program can help your business:

Hardware Inventory

First, companies are often unaware of just what hardware they have and the actual age of the equipment. Oftentimes, we are told, “I bought those PCs two years ago,” only to discover they are five years old or worse: about to be, or already out of support. A perfect example of this is the upcoming Windows 7 End of Life transition, or similar support-related issues, which we are encountering more and more.

Our engineers take an inventory of your hardware and determine what systems are in need of replacement sooner rather than later. Our tools can tell you if a computer update can better meet your needs before buying a brand-new computer. This inventory also helps your business determine budget needs to plan for the future.

Access employees hosting a meeting.

Interview Decision Makers & End-Users

An interview is part of our process, because IT is more than just the equipment; it’s also the users who utilize them every day. In this interview, we discuss your business’ workflow and gather customer experience information about your infrastructure and current IT landscape. Understanding how your business operates and what your expectations are for IT support is crucial to build a relationship and ensure we are meeting your needs.

An interview will typically take less than an hour and should involve both decision makers and some end-users. If a business has multiple areas of specialty, someone from each area can be beneficial to the process.

Questions asked include:

  • What accounting software do you use?
  • How many of your employees interact with the IT system?
  • Does the wireless networking you currently have meet your needs?

Understand Backup and Disaster Recovery Needs

Another crucial part of the interview phase is to understand your needs regarding backups and recovery. A customer may know “how” the backup is supposed to work, but the interview will help to determine if it is suitable. Tapes, for example, have restore times measured in days, but your critical applications must be online in a few hours. We will make appropriate recommendations to meet those needs, based-on internet speed, work processes, and urgency.

IT Assessment

IT Environment Assessment

While on-site, our engineers will observe equipment that may be failing or has failed  and not detected by your current IT provider for a number of reasons. Environmental issues, such as equipment not correctly mounted, is discovered during the IT Assessment. With the help of the IT Assessment Program and end report, plans are suggested to mitigate such issues from security threats or hardware failures, resulting in business processes being stopped or degraded.

Observing the hardware of a firewall dangling by wires and water filled sprinkler heads mounted directly above IT equipment is unfortunately something we have observed more than once. These types of problems can become more serious and create downtime to your business.  As findings are discovered, we are able to communicate and, in some cases, resolve them with a separate service call.

Focused Security Checks

The assessment’s focus goes beyond the physical devices on your network. We look at the security of your devices and how end-users interact with the devices. So, we can identify potential security issues, which may result in a data breach and/or ransomware attack.

Some of the tools we use include an external vulnerability scan. This scan is performed to find potential holes in your network, which bad actors can exploit. Vulnerabilities can come from out-of-date or poorly designed systems that are visible from outside your network.

Other tests check user passwords for weaknesses or non-unique passwords. The engineer also will check for physical traces of credentials including sticky notes stuck on desks.

Going over the results of the assessment will help make you aware of what IT risks are present so action can be taken to strengthen the security of your business and to plan for your future IT needs.

examining security in a data center

Easy to Read Report

Our data is compiled into a concise, peer-reviewed report that is easy to understand. In it, you will find our findings, their impact to your business and how we can resolve these issues.

To help you form a game plan, we prioritize based on how critical the issue is to your business. This report allows you to make informed decisions about your IT.

Start an IT Assessment with Access Systems

IT assessments are about helping you, our customer, stay protected. If this sounds like something your business needs, please reach out to us to schedule your IT Assessment at 888-464-8770.

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Topics: Managed IT Service Provider, IT Assessment

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