Organizations invest significant time, energy, and money in information technology systems, and leaders hire skilled information technology professionals to ensure the IT contributes to the success of the organization. Despite the investment and the level of expertise IT professionals bring to their work, many conclude the IT installed and its management is less than satisfactory.
- Members of the organization find the IT difficult to use and ineffective in their work.
- Leaders hear complaints despite their financial and operational support of IT.
No IT professional will be satisfied if their systems are perceived to be difficult to use or ineffective.
Because organizational and technology leaders are so deeply embedded in the day-to-day operations of the organization and the IT, they often find it difficult to objectively assess or evaluate the degree to which IT is contributing to strategic outcomes. Organizational and technology leaders are often reluctant to admit that members’ complaints about IT are valid. Audits can provide fresh and objective information to organizational and technology leaders must have support their technology decisions.
Some audits are relatively easy to undertake. For example, there are clear indications of the degree to which IT systems are designed to meet industry standards of reliability and security, and there are clear indications of the degree to which the system aligns with regulatory and policy expectations.
Other types of audits—and ones more difficult to design—help leaders understand factors associated with users’ perceptions of IT which is known to affect the efficient and effective use of IT to meet the organization’s strategic goals.