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You Have Email…Not July 19, 2013

Posted by Audit Monkey in The Joy & Pain of Internal Audit, Working Life in Britain.
Tags: , , , , , ,

My old friend Bermondsey Babe has been having a rough time at work. Last Thursday (11th July), the email server at her firm fell over. In simple terms, the firm lost the ability to send and receive email. The Head of IT declared “something had been corrupted” as the root cause. Of course, Bermondsey Babe, in keeping with the rest of us, would assume that it would be a simple server reboot and life would return to normal but no. The Head of IT declared that the ‘server would have to rebuild itself’. By midday Friday, the server had not been restored as the rebuild failed. It later emerged that some 48 security updates needed to be installed. This begs the question why wasn’t this done before.

Feeling uneasy about the lack of progress, Bermondsey Babe in her capacity of Director of Finance stuck her head around the IT Department’s door late on Friday afternoon. She was expecting a chorus of “we’re working on it”, “nearly there”, “should be back up shortly” but alas no. It was 5.00pm, the Head of IT and his erstwhile Technicians had gone home. Email was eventually restored by 11.00pm on Monday evening (15th July). Bermondsey Babe wasn’t exactly happy as she was expecting correspondence from External Audit to complete the year-end audit.

You would have thought that the CEO would have been up in arms about something as fundamental as email failing but no. His attitude to IT projects are that they are a “planning nightmare” and always end up in disaster. Moreover, the CEO is generally ignorant regarding IT matters. Given this backdrop, Bermondsey Babe has decided not to proceed or initiate any further IT projects due to the lack of buy-in and expertise in the firm, despite the fact improvements in IT are desperately needed, especially to improve the control environment.

So what can we conclude? I don’t think you need me to point out the issues but I would welcome any comments.


1. ITauditSecurity - July 19, 2013

The biggest problem is poor management. All problems start or at least continue because management is unaware and/or not managing. This is NOT an IT issue.

2. ITmonkey101 - July 22, 2013

This sounds like standard BAU. It baffles me why the CEO would put up with this. This should have been worked 24/7 over the weekend until it was fixed. Strange way to run an IT department..

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