The first step in performing an IT audit that is tied to business strategy is understanding the short-term and long-term goals and objectives of the business. While we expect IT strategies to be aligned to an organization's business strategies, in practice, this is not easy to achieve. The organization typically has made large investments in legacy systems that have been supporting the current business. The organization must balance the maintenance of current business requirements with the need to support longer term strategies, using emerging technologies to improve the competitiveness of the organization.
Completing this business audit will ensure that you learn a lot about the business of the organization.
To prepare for the audit, read Audits, Internal and Core Competencies. The templates provided for Step 1 will give you a framework for collecting this information. Be sure to ask the following questions:
- What are the strategic goals of the organization?
- What are the business operational goals?
- How do you see your organization in one year, in five years, and beyond?
Download and open the Templates_for_Project2_with_Instructions.xlsx file. You will be using this file throughout this project. For optional feedback in Steps 1 and 3, use the following naming protocols
The templates for business objectives in Appendices A1 and A2 will guide your discovery. You should list a minimum of three business objectives that exist for your organization, which will likely vary from these templates. Existing entries in templates A1 and A2 are for illustration purposes only. You should fill in and submit to the assignment folder two tables: Appendix A1 is for short-term goals (one year) and Appendix A2 is for longer term goals (five or more years). See Goal Setting for more information.
After you understand your organization's business objectives, you will need to evaluate how well your organization is meeting those objectives. The template in Appendix B will guide you through a quick analysis of overall organizational effectiveness. You may want to ask those in leadership positions how well the organization is performing, but you can also get this information by examining how well the organization is performing according to current operational objectives. Choose a minimum of three organizational effectiveness criteria. Provide a one-sentence description of each measure, along with an overall score on a five-point scale and an explanation of the score you provided. See Effectiveness and Efficiency.
Now that you've looked at how well the overall organization is performing, you should evaluate the organization at a lower level. Using the Appendix C template to guide you, assess the general well-being of any two departments in your organization (for example, finance and marketing). Again, provide explanation for any key issues for areas where there are less effective or very effective departments. This information may help you to see areas where opportunities exist to improve your business with technology.
To summarize what you have found during your assessment of the business, prepare a two-page summary of the business objectives and the level of effectiveness in your organization. This business objectives and effectiveness summary should address the following questions:
- What are some short-term and long-term business objectives of your organization?
- What is your evaluation of overall organizational effectiveness? Departmental level effectiveness?
Post your business assessment worksheets (Appendices A1, A2, B, and C) along with your two-page summary of business objectives and effectiveness to your assignment folder. Your instructor will review your work and inform you of any major weaknesses in your deliverable.
In the next step, you will evaluate the ability of IT to meet the business objectives identified in Step 1.
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