Oh, the infamous IT audit
As if IT departments didn’t have enough to worry about these days, they also have to make sure that the organization is in compliance with various industry and federal regulations – things like PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and Basel II. These compliance standards are all designed to protect sensitive information, applications and data, but that task comes with some serious pressure. Failure to comply could mean big-time fines, penalties, a halt in business or major loss of trust (or all of the above) and IT departments are on the hook.
If your organization is like most, pressure mounts as the audit approaches. An abundance of four letter words may trickle across the department at various levels of intensity (inside voices count). The four letter word no one expects during this time is E-A-S-Y. Who would think that something so painful could be easy? Well, it can.
Don’t be like the majority of IT departments that spend as much as 30% of their budget on IT compliance by taking the long road – take the short cut to compliance.
The long road
Using different move-to-production processes, across isolated development groups, managed by a variety of disparate tools, makes documenting what is being done beyond difficult. Auditors are required to go to many places to find the application inventory and will need to examine a lot of different process documents in order to ensure that standards are being followed in each environment. How is a change made? Who made it? Who tested it? How is the code built? Who approved the move to production? It becomes a crazy time-consuming effort to get everything captured, tracked, and documented. Meanwhile, the IT staff is not delivering the application features and functions the business needs. And since audits are typically annual, you have to repeat this process every year. And what if there is more than one regulation to meet? You are officially on a very long road to compliance.
The (much) shorter road
It turns out using an application lifecycle management solution (ALM) like the Rocket® Aldon Lifecycle Manager, dramatically reduces the pain of IT audits. With an ALM system, you are able to encapsulate all your specific compliance processes in a single place. You no longer need to find the compliance documentation and then research whether you are actually doing what the documentation says.
Since the process is defined to the system, the system provides the compliance process documentation. And since the process is defined to the system, the system automates and enforces the defined process. It’s a closed loop. Once you have defined the process its “set it and forget it”. The ALM system will ensure that all change related activity is traceable, repeatable, and reportable. It gives you precise and accurate information about everything that has occurred from the time a change request is submitted or user issue arises all the way to deployment or resolution—no matter how many people touch the application or service request and no matter how complex.
If there is a discrepancy that would impede you from getting what you need to pass an audit, you will be alerted. If legislation changes or a regulation needs updating, you can quickly adjust. Our ALM system actually comes with compliance reporting templates to fulfill specific auditing needs. And because we give you complete control and enforce workflow and process every step of the way, you can meet as many regulations for as many audits as you may have—over and over—thereby keeping costs down. We offer the much shorter, shall we say, smarter road?
But I could write about this all day. Take a look at this short video highlighting exactly how it all works to put the word EASY in the IT audit equation.
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