It’s time to show your tech some love with Q2Q’s IT audit
At Q2Q, we don’t believe that one size fits all when it comes to IT support. That’s why, in order to really understand how we can help a client, we look to our trusty audit process to get things off the ground.
It’s true that ‘test, assessment and audit’ all sound like scary words. Maybe they remind you of your school exams or driving test – whatever it may be, many of us don’t like the idea of being put in the spotlight.
However, our audit is actually more of a ‘fact-finding’ or ‘getting-to-know-you’ phase – essentially, our foundation for building a meaningful relationship, which gives SMEs exactly the right level of support they need, no matter at what stage they’re at in their business journey.
In truth, we’re what you could call your ‘peace-of-mind providers.’ Our audit is a comprehensive questionnaire, which we work through face-to-face with our customers – free from any technical gobbledegook – to ensure the advice we provide is accurate and, most importantly, aligns with your business objectives.
So, there’s no need to fear our ‘audit’ – nor is it just another sales pitch – it’s there to give you free, honest and valuable advice based on facts, to help make your future relationship with tech less painful and more pain-free.
After all, if your IT doesn’t work and adapt in tandem with your organisation and its objectives, it’s neither successful nor cost-effective in the long run.
What’s included in the IT audit?
In order to be able to offer your SME customised action plan, we need to know about your existing IT infrastructure and how you use it on a daily basis. Cue our questionnaire…
We’ll run through our 36-point health check which looks at the following key areas:
3) Managed support and services
5) Telecommunications (if applicable)
From the results, we’ll glean a clear understanding of the areas requiring improvement and list them – in priority order – along with a breakdown of the necessary actions to achieve real progress.
In straight-talking terms, our IT audit will help ensure you’re getting the best out of your spending.
Conducting the ‘IT magic’
Using a USB stick and our special software, this part of the process allows our techies to really put your IT under the microscope.
By gaining access to your systems, we can discover more about the hardware of the machines, plus their speed and performance – at various points throughout the day.
Our software will continue to scan your machines in the background, over the course of one week – giving us a true flavour of how they work and uncovering any trends.
By obtaining a baseline for how the systems are performing, there is never a knee-jerk reaction of ‘its old, let’s upgrade,’ instead we check the demands on the machines and only suggest upgrades where truly needed.
Learning about your wider business
After an audit has taken place, our MD Lorna Stellakis will delve into the deeper workings of your company, to find out more about your objectives.
This two-pronged technical and strategic approach is what makes us different at Q2Q.
We know that a great tech set-up needs to be fully adaptable to your needs and requirements at any given time – taking growth, location and staff retention levels in mind. It’s only when we have the complete picture of what your firm does – and how it operates – that your IT set-up can be designed to work seamlessly with your business operations.
Receiving your own bespoke report
A week after our visit, you’ll receive a tailored report of our findings, which your dedicated techie will go through with you in person – in plain, jargon-free English.
This presents all the information gathered from your IT environment questionnaire and system inspection in one, easy-to-read document.
Each technological area is graded – via a colour-coded traffic light system – to make it easy to visualise your results. Red indicates an audit item that requires immediate attention, while yellow signals an area needing improvement and green is satisfactory.
Using the results, we calculate your overall audit score out of 100. This shows you how great your IT could be – specific to your environment – rather than using generic industry standards.
Your score is not based on someone else’s idea of what ‘great’ looks like. Rather, what your business needs!
How much will the IT audit cost?
As well as a report detailing where you are currently, you’ll also receive a comparison assessment of where your SME could be by actioning slight changes to your present set-up. And, it’s our commitment to driving the best and most profitable results for our clients, which means our goal is getting the score as close to 100 as possible.
While a lot of businesses are under the impression that their IT is giving them everything they need, from our experience, there are always some subtle improvements to be made.
We often see clients who are really surprised at how these small tweaks can pay dividends in productivity and efficiency, and this makes us happy!
So, the IT audit itself is completely FREE – but if you choose to go ahead with any of the improvements we’ve suggested, this will inevitably incur some costs.
If you have any questions, give us a call on 01524 581690, drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop in for a brew – we have the largest kettle in Lancaster and always have biscuits!
All the gear and no idea?
We can help you find the best hardware solutions to fit the needs of your team.
Step up your business growth again and you’ll need to be even further ahead of the curve where IT is concerned. There may even be competitors in your sightline, and the same old equipment you started out with just won’t cut it anymore – especially if you want to be taken seriously!
Setting out on a serious mountain hike with just a water bottle will no longer be enough – you’ll need focused planning ahead of your journey, alternative equipment that adapts as you progress and an advanced tracking device to monitor how far you’ve gone.
Enhanced safety precautions and proactive preventative measures will also be essential, as you’re bound to encounter more adverse conditions and trickier terrains as you work towards higher ground. And as melodramatic as it may sound, you’ll need to have a plan in place for every type of disaster scenario. As we all know, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
No matter what the summit of your business growth adventure is, seeking the right assistance can get you to the top. Going it alone is futile past a certain point, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re enlisting professional support to help rather than hinder your progress.
Our comprehensive IT audit will help you reassess what support you need, whatever stage you’re at in your journey. Starting out with a thorough 36-point health check of your current IT infrastructure and processes, we’ll then present our findings and recommendations in an easy-to-digest graphical report.
The result? A clear understanding of the areas requiring improvement – in priority order – along with a breakdown of the necessary actions to achieve real progress.
- An easy-to-follow graphical representation covering the state of your IT and associated services.
- An overall score based on how great your IT could be – specific to your environment rather than using generic industry standards.
- A colour-coded report providing concise details about which areas could and should be improved.
- A financial summary of your known costs vs. what we’ve calculated you’re actually spending on IT – this can come as quite a shock!
- An outline of savings that can be attributed to implementing our recommendations.
- A comparative analysis of where your business realistically could be, if you undertake the remedial activities we identify.
- A clear plan of what needs to happen and likely costs – it’s your choice whether you undertake this strategy yourselves, get your existing IT provider to handle it or enlist our managed support service.
- A summary of any software licensing contraventions we’ve identified.
- An overview of your IT network and hardware – including an asset list.
How much will it cost?
The IT audit itself is completely free – but with IT there are always improvements to be made, which will inevitably incur some costs.
If you’re willing to provide us with details of what you’re currently paying out for your IT, the assessment will prove even more helpful in ensuring you’re getting the best value out of your provider. This is because alongside any monthly retainer fees, we can also attribute unseen IT costs to your current business scenario.
For instance, if you’re not routinely patching your software and we uncover a weakness that could expose you to hacking, we’ll take into account the likely cost of failing to fix it. We can also calculate similar potential pay-outs that could arise further down the line, as a result of such inadequate processes as ineffective back-ups or inflexible telecoms.
By then adding these to the current base cost of your IT, we can estimate the overall expense of your infrastructure and create a comparison plan that’s based on undertaking specific remedial actions. The outcome is a clear understanding of what you think your IT is costing, what it is actually costing and how much you could potentially be saving.
And if you don’t feel comfortable disclosing your IT expenditure? No problem! We’ll simply estimate the figures based on what we observe before and during the audit.
In straight-talking terms, our IT audit will help ensure you’re getting the best out of your spending. To give you some idea of what these improvements might look like, we can:
- Make your data storage more cost-effective – a typical saving can be around £200 per calendar month, depending on the size of your business.
- Change the model of your email subscription – preventing the disruption caused by a boxed product that quickly becomes outdated and needs replacing.
- Conduct background service checks – using discreet systems to detect any possible connectivity problems or pre-empt operational downtime before it arises. The IT equivalent of spotting that your shoelaces are untied before you trip!
- Configure efficient data back-ups – ensuring no documents are lost or time wasted as a result of a system failure or machine shut-down
- Set you up with the right equipment for your business – kitting you out with tools that can be continually refined and evolve with your company, so you don’t have to keep paying out for upgrades and replacements.
IT may seem like a mountain to climb, but we’re here to get you to the top! So, if you’re ready to embark on the IT audit trail, get in touch with our team of experts today.
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Lancaster: 01524 581690