A few months ago, I wrote about the journey of going through an SSAE16 audit. I compared it to travelling with kids. After the trip, when you’re back in the daily routine, there is a point at which you start to sift through and organize your memories. Maybe you look fondly at your souvenirs. You swipe through all the photos on your phone. If you’ve got the time, you might even organize these and create a slide show or movie so that you can replay all the memorable times from the adventure.
Last week, we received our finalized audit opinion. There were no exceptions, and the report was clean. We’d ‘passed’ the audit, and there were a lot happy people on our team. Emails went out to the team congratulating them on their attention to detail during the audit. Press releases are being prepared. Our CEO stopped by to thank the team for their effort. It felt like the end of a long journey.
But, for anyone familiar with the work needed to come through an audit cleanly, you know that the audit report isn’t the end, but the beginning of a much longer journey to maintain the level of discipline needed to pass the next review.
Much like organizing photos after vacation, I’m looking back at the journey and stringing together all the snapshots showing where we succeeded. This will enable to us to share that narrative with the team. It’ll connect them to times where we succeeded in our preparation and execution.
And, if you’re kids are as goofy as mine are, there are some images that make you shake your head a little bit and wonder what they were thinking. We had our share of those moments too during the audit, and they’re equally valuable to the overall collection of memories we’re trying to capture and communicate.
Alas, prep for the next audit is already underway. It never really stopped. Now we’re asking ourselves what we’d need to do to expand to other trust principles, and how do we continue to mature our processes.
My family is asking the “Where do we go next year” question, much like we’re doing here for the Performance Services team. In both cases, I think the next journey will be a little easier given the experience we’ve gained.
As you look at your map for future technology growth, or if you need help planning you’re your next IT journey, consider partnering with West Monroe Partners Performance Services. Our experience can help you and your business reach your destination. Happy trails!