PracticePeople In PracticeIT audits could save business millions

IT audits could save business millions

In these recessionary times an IT audit can save a company millions of pounds by removing unnecessary, and often unlicensed software, from its network. Many FDs, however, remain unaware of the option.

Richard Willmott, chairman of the Federation Against Software Theft, told a round-table discussion yesterday that conducting IT audits can have significant benefits.

‘Conducting an IT audit can cut the IT budget by as much as a third. FAST’s own cost-of-ownership program will cut a minimum of 10% off a company’s IT budget,’ Willmott told the forum.

But finance directors and other senior executives remain the hardest people to convince of the need for conducting such checks, despite the numerous benefits.

‘There is no legal requirement to conduct an IT audit and awareness amongst FDs is not high,’ Willmott told AccountancyAge.com.

He said an IT audit was just like any other asset management control measure and compared it to running a company car fleet.

‘A company would never think of buying 50 extra cars and then never use them. Nor would they just give an employee Pounds 15,000 and tell them to buy any car they liked.’

As an example, energy provider Yorkshire Electricity implemented a daily IT audit to monitor software usage across a network of 3,000 PCs. Ivor Duggan, IS configuration and Release manager at the energy provider, said the audit had saved the company Pounds 500,000 in its first year, a 15% reduction in the IT budget.

Multiply this to a company with tens of thousands of computers and the savings could rise into the millions, making a significant dent on the balance sheet.

‘We saved a fortune at Yorkshire Electricity just by doing away with over licensing of products,’ Duggan said.

Martin Saunder, product marketing manager at Computer Associates said his company offered scalable auditing systems, such as Unicenter Asset Management, for any size of company. Similar products are also available from Sage and Peregrine.

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