Today, many companies use various programs and applications that make up an advanced business ecosystem. It is, therefore, not surprising that, from time to time, it is necessary to verify that all tools are working properly. A software audit allows you to check it both in terms of functionality and law. How should it be carried out?
What is a software audit, and what is it for?
Software audit is a very broad topic, which may refer to the process carried out inside the company as well as outsourced to a third party. In general, its purpose is to verify the condition and quality of the system used by the organization. The need to perform an audit may result from, among others:
- Searching for potential bugs that need fixing
- Monitoring how the software is used
- Software license compliance verification
- Adjusting the software to current legal regulations
Types of a software audit
A software audit can take many forms, depending on the goals of the company. In general, however, we distinguish 3 main types:
Software security audit
Cybersecurity is an extremely important issue, especially for large, mature companies. Attacks and data leaks can lead to serious consequences, jeopardizing the privacy of employees and customers and exposing the organization to heavy fines and legal problems.
Regardless of the industry, companies are investing in antivirus programs, firewalls, and encryption tools. A software audit is used to verify that all these tools are working properly and that the company is effectively protected. Its purpose may also be to check how the organization processes personal data.
User Experience Audit
A software audit in terms of UX is used to verify its availability and usability. This process allows you to carefully track the customer journey and check how user-friendly the system or application is. The intuitiveness of the interface, the quality of navigation and ease of use are also assessed.
UX audits should be performed with each new tool’s implementation and with any system modifications. These types of tests will help avoid serious and costly problems that could expose the company to unnecessary downtime and financial losses.
Software quality audit
All software should be regularly checked for validity and performance. Auditors also make sure that there are other tools available on the market that could be more effective or more cost-effective for the organisation. Sometimes it is also verified whether the company duly applies to the software manufacturer’s license.
How to conduct a software audit
Although a software audit should be carried out by specialists experienced in this field, the process can be reduced to a few simple steps:
1. Defining the purpose and scope of the audit
A software audit must be well organised. Thanks to this, the company will save time and money by focusing only on the areas of interest to it. Otherwise, auditors may become overwhelmed by the volume and sophistication of the results and come to no valuable conclusions. At this stage, you should therefore take care of the audit checklist, transparent guidelines and effective team information distribution.
2. Selection of audit tools
Each software requires a selection of different audit tools. They are called Software Asset Management (SAM) tools. The accuracy of the test results will depend on the level of their advancement, so it is worth choosing the best solutions in a given field.
3. Conducting an audit
At this stage, the proper implementation of the audit takes place. Some tools allow you to automate this process, but very often manual work will also be necessary. For this reason, every entrepreneur who does not have the necessary experience in this area should use the help of specialists.
4. Audit results analysis
The software audit itself will prove to be worthless if its results are not properly analyzed. Only they will make it possible to optimize the system and introduce the necessary changes in the company. At the last stage, it is, therefore, necessary to compare the study results with the objectives set at the beginning and consider what they prove. On this basis, the organization will be able to make appropriate decisions, for example, on:
- Removing unused programs
- Repairing various glitches
- Preventing data leaks
- Updating outdated tools
- Purchasing new licenses or programs
As you can see, a software audit is not complicated at all. However, remember that this should not be a one-time process. Once it is done, it is a good idea to create a summary report and use it to plan your next study. Thanks to this, the company’s software will be constantly developed and improved. To read more on software audit, find the full article on NoA Ignite’s website