consultants have been involved at all aspects of IT audits.
- As key members of IT development project, their work has come under
the close scrutiny of the companies investors, (legal) advisors, auditors
and accountants, by way of technical Audits.
- The users of any software have been the first to comment about
the efficiency and usability of any software that they have provided.
- The technical colleagues working alongside them will have (often
quite vociferously!) argued the case for alternative IT strategy.
They will also have given credit for the highly innovative solutions
and concepts implemented by Mark-IT's consultants.
- And finally, they have been awarded a number of assignments to
work with Auditors, Venture capitalists and Software houses to examine
IT projects and comment on their robustness (performance and functionality),
scalability, hardware strength, degree of completeness, underlying
supporting staff, taxable status etc etc. On some projects this has
extended to comments about the overall marketing strategy.
With this total perspective of the IT industry, Mark-IT
is able to provide expert, and very usable, opinions about any project.
An interesting approach on any IT Audit is to work with a list of 15
key indicators and assign a score against each of them identifying their
relative strength. If requested, they will also discuss this with the
system developers and outline a strategy, with supporting technology,
resources, cost and time for strengthening the weaker points.
Listed below are a few recent more technical projects
Reviewing the poor speed performance of a web-based system which
accessed a very large (230 million row) SQL data-base - to review
(and evaluate) alternative D/B design for improving response times
LOAD TESTING AND CONTINGENCY PLANNING
Mark-IT were asked to examine an Internet Start up project and look
- How well the IT systems would cope with the expected 10-fold increase
in activity - in terms of software, hardware and communication links.
- How the "business" would cope in the event of total failure
lasting more than 1 day.
The principals of a large multinational company needed a
second and independent opinion about quotations of around $.25million
for hardware, software and personnel to build a prototype web-site capable
of running an e-commerce application. Mark-IT helped senior management
to better understand the key issues, redefine the requirements and save
over 20% of costs - as well as reduce build time by 3 months.
THE R&D STATUS OF AN IT PROJECT
Recent legislation (UK Finance Act 2000 - section 837A) allows
some R&D projects to be given advantageous tax status. A recent
assignment by Mark-IT was to examine a large £2M software project
and assess the development work involved. Based on the nature of this
work and the well-defined criteria as outlined in the Guidelines issued
by the DTI for section 837A, Mark-IT were able to to prepare a formal
document justifying that a very large part of a large multi-million
pound contract should be favourably by the Inland Revenue.