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In most cases, TCS recommends that an organization begin the improvement process by using the Standard Audit, covering 5 subjects - Desktops and Printers, Microsoft Servers, Storage, Networks, and Software Licensing. These subjects will identfy 100's of opportunities for improvement. Additional subjects may be audited at a later time.
For on-site Audits, TCS will work with the client to schedule the data collection tasks. For self-service based Audits, TCS will provide links and passwords to the survey(s) to the Client Contact via e-mail. When a survey is completed (all selected subjects), the data is sent to TCS for analysis, scoring, and report creation. Scores generated from the Audit are used to identify areas for improvement, and identify the highest impact topics. TCS e-mails the audit reports (PDF files) to the client contact, and schedules a conference call with the Client Contact to review and discuss the Audit results and recommendations.
The Audit is software assisted (web based or PC client based) to facilitate a highly structured and systematic "interview" with IT staff to identiy the current state/practice for each topic, and help your team discover opportunities to use Best Practices for improvement. For each Audit topic, the subject, category, and topic are displayed on the screen. An overview/discussion of why the topic is important is also displayed, and recommendatons of where/how to locate supporting data/evidence are provded. The survey tool presents multiple text descriptions to identify the CURRENT state of the topic. The IT staff selects (clicks) on the text description that best describes the CURRENT state of the topic. In addition to the text descriptions, "Not Known" and "Not Applicable" answers may also be selected. The survey is completed when all topics for all selected Audit subjects have been answered.
TCS recommends the following minimum participants for each subject: the direct Manager of the subject area, and the most senior member of the IT staff responsible for the subjec area. Including more staff members within the subject area is always educational, and valuable. Senior IT leaders (including CIO's) frequently participate in the interveiws/data collection meetings to gain first-hand knowledge of the current practices or understand the state of key topics.
Yes. The Audit data collection process is very flexible. Data collection can be "suspended" and resumed by the IT staff at any time. Reports are processed by TCS when the data collection for all ordered subjects is complete.
The client uses their existing tools and documentation as the source of data (evidence) to select the survey answer that best describes the CURRENT state of each topic. Since the client staff answers the questions, the Audit is free from vendor or consultant bias or interpretations.
The reports provide the current state of each Audit topic, incremental and the Best Practice for each topic, comparisons of the current state with peers, and a prioritized list of specific, actionable recommendations for IT staff to implement. Many of the recommendations can be implemented by current IT staff at near zero cost.
We understand how busy your IT staff is, and we have designed the Audit to minimize the impact on your resources. During the data collection for a subject, only the IT staff with knowledge of the Audit subject is required. A Standard Audit (5 subjects) will require 16-24 total hours of elapsed time to complete. A Premium Audit (8 subjects) will normally require 24-32 total hours to complete. Total elapsed time will depend upon the scheduling and availability of staff within the client organization.
TCS is available by phone and email to answer your questions. TCS performs the analysis of the survey data and prepares the audit reports. Upon the delivery of the Audit reports, TCS hosts a conference call with the client contact (additional staff may participate as desired) to review the Audit reports and recommendations. TCS is also available on a consulting basis to assist the client with planning and implementation.
Audit content is added and/or updated on a continual basis, while maintaining backward compatibility with prior Audits. Each Audit contains the most current content from our Knowledge Base. User feedback and input are encouraged and welcome!
You can order the TCS IT Best Practices Audit™ directly from us. The Audit is priced by subject and delivery method (self service or TCS Consultant assisted) on a per use basis. The audit tools (scoring models and report generation) are also available for licensing. Volume discounts and annual unlimited use discounts are available. Payment methods include credit cards and checks.
The Audit concept and content comprise the true value of our offerings. In exchange for giving you access to our intellectual property, we require your promise not to disclose our concept or content to others.
The TCS IT Best Practices Audit™ can be used as a M&A due diligence tool - both pre and post acquisition.