How to Conduct An IT Asset Audit

May 24, 2024

As the IT infrastructure of the typical company has grown, so has the need for regular information system audits. These audits examine whether an organization’s IT controls protect company assets, ensure information accuracy and further the company’s business goals adequately and efficiently. For data centers, these audit processes are even more essential to operations.

An IT asset audit can boost profitability by increasing procedure efficiency and reducing liability, but it requires the full picture of your IT assets, including hardware and software used across the company. To paint this picture, you’ll need to know how to conduct an IT asset audit.

What Is an IT Asset Audit?

An IT asset audit is a deep dive into the equipment and tools used throughout the business, ranging from computers and peripherals to servers, storage equipment and software. This process ensures updated records and verifies valuable information about your resources, such as condition, location and purchase dates. With this data, you can spot discrepancies and take action to improve profitability.

Asset auditing takes two forms — internal and external. Internal auditing occurs when a company conducts its own analysis of its systems. External auditing is when an enterprise outsources analysis to another organization. While IT asset auditing can be both an internal and external process, it can be beneficial to have a third party analyze a business’s operations.

In large companies with expansive inventories and multiple locations, tracking every asset can be challenging. Therefore, effective inventory management becomes critical during the auditing process.

Why Should You Audit IT Assets?

If you don’t have a reliable asset inventory, completing an information system audit becomes extremely difficult. After all, if you don’t understand where your assets are and how they’re connected, you can’t determine whether they’re working together securely and effectively. Regular audits allow you to stay proactive and keep your IT environment working optimally rather than responding to problems after they appear.

You also need to keep an inventory of your IT assets if you hope to minimize risk through the auditing process. If you know the status of all your IT assets, you can keep hardware and software up to date across the organization, create disaster recovery plans and plan for large-scale IT projects. You can find underutilized assets to optimize resource allocation. Monitoring equipment life spans and maintenance timelines can also help you extend the life of your assets, maximizing their value.

Essentially, auditing your IT assets will help you make improvements more efficiently. Auditing supports efficiency in other areas, too. With a clear picture of your assets, troubleshooting, planning and other tasks become much easier and faster. You can eliminate time-consuming hunts for items or unnecessary evaluations. Plus, condition and maintenance data can help you plan for upcoming needs, like repairs or updates, preventing them from impacting your workflow.

How to Audit IT Assets

Conducting an IT audit usually requires you to enlist the help of an internal or external auditor. This person will plan the audit, study and evaluate your company’s IT controls, test those controls and report any problems they identify. After that, they may follow up with you to see how the problems were addressed.

Below is the basic outline of how to conduct an IT asset audit:

  1. Creating a plan: Audits should start with a clear, comprehensive plan that identifies objectives and outlines why you’re auditing IT assets. Are you looking for more data before deciding on an equipment upgrade? Are you looking for gaps in security or maybe finding missing items? Your plan should also identify stakeholders and map out a timeline.
  2. Identifying assets and data to collect: Decide what kind of information you want to gather. Will you focus on one category, such as computers and mobile devices, or do you want to include every asset you own? Also, determine what characteristics you want to evaluate, such as location, condition, purchase price, replacement cost, expected life span and compliance requirements like recycling.
  3. Obtaining tools to facilitate the audit: An IT asset audit calls for many resources that support the process, such as inventory management systems, reporting software, scanners and solutions for radio frequency identification (RFID). You’ll need to obtain and implement these resources for a smooth, effective process.
  4. Assigning audits to staff members and providing process documentation: Determine who is responsible for which tasks and assign individual audits as needed. For instance, you might have each of your teams audit a different category. When managing your audit, provide access to clear, standardized documentation on the asset auditing process so you can achieve consistent, reliable results.
  5. Analyzing report data and determining next steps: After collecting all of your data, create any reports and analyze them carefully. Identify problem areas, and remediate any issues, such as investigating missing items or planning for upgrades. Consider the objectives outlined from the beginning and unique elements of your organization, like contracts or licenses, to make more informed decisions about your assets.
  6. Preparing for the next audit: You’ll need to perform audits regularly, so you can set yourself up for success by creating a plan for the next one. Make a schedule for your audits and store reports safely to access them later.

Because of the sheer number of steps required, an information system audit can be time-consuming. If you use an auditor from within your organization, they may also need to conduct research and undergo extensive training before beginning the auditing process. This will be especially true if you don’t have an accurate asset inventory available for reference.

Preparing for an information system audit on your own can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. Before your next audit, consider reaching out to DataSpan for assistance.

Why Hire a Professional for IT Asset Audits?

Conducting an IT asset audit will ensure your business’s efficiency, but accurate results require extensive work with close attention to detail. Hiring a professional for your audit will help your business get the most from the process. Work with professionals like DataSpan to:

  • Save time: Manual audits require numerous paid hours from employees, and without proper training, they could make mistakes that force them to start from scratch.
  • Receive comprehensive service: Professional auditors will provide the best service for your investment, connecting your business with the best IT for your needs and offering assistance from qualified representatives.
  • Ensure regulatory compliance: Professionals understand relevant regulations and will make sure your software is authorized for your industry, saving you from financial penalties.
  • Manage depreciation: Software loses value over time. Professionals can help businesses understand depreciation rates, find ways to make the most of their assets and avoid paying for assets they don’t need. Extensive experience in the industry gives professional auditors detailed insights into the costs and values of different assets.

Let DataSpan Help With the IT Auditing Process

At DataSpan, we have 50 years of experience working with data center assets, which makes us uniquely qualified to assist with inventory management in preparation for an IT audit. In the past, we’ve helped businesses and data centers reduce costs through better asset visibility, improved productivity, audit automation and more.

When you work with us, you’ll have access to knowledgeable professionals who operate as an extension of your staff. We can provide flexible solutions to help you:

  • Identify the location and configuration of all your IT assets.
  • Create an effective asset inventory for use in the auditing process.
  • Stage assets for disaster recovery.
  • Conduct preliminary planning for IT migrations.
  • Correlate IT assets with financial records for reduced liability.

With DataSpan, an IT audit doesn’t have to be a source of stress. It’s easy to get started. Simply find your local representative or contact us today to learn more.