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The CISA® Prep Guide: Mastering the Certified Information Systems Auditor Exam by John Kramer

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7.2. Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Information Systems in Supporting the Business Process

In addition to being asked about the IS themselves and drawing conclusions about their effectiveness and efficient use, management also will be concerned with how well these systems actually meet the needs of the business, and whether they are providing the right level of support for the business through the deployment of the information systems they have chosen to process their business. There are many shades of gray here and you first will need to establish some criteria from which you can draw comparisons and form opinions on performing an evaluation. Effectiveness can only be determined in relative terms — relative to industry best practices, relative to the amount of investment the company is willing to make to achieve top notch productivity, relative to the competition, and relative to management's expectations. These are all possible ways to examine systems that support the business processes. The first question you will need to ask, possibly to yourself when asked about an evaluation of effectiveness is, "... compared to what?"

Effectiveness can be measured against the business needs and service level requirements. This is a relatively simple comparison and evaluation to perform. You must determine what the documented and agreed to processing rates, delivery times, availability rates or other metrics that have been established and required by the business are, and compare those ...

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