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AI growth adds to audit skills

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping the future of IT auditors, but auditors are largely optimistic about the future, according to new research by global technology association ISACA.

In a survey of more than 2,400 IT auditors worldwide called "Future of IT Audit: Research Brief", 92 per cent of IT auditors said that they are optimistic about how technology will impact them professionally over the next five years. 

Nearly eight in ten say their IT audit team has the technical skills and training to keep up with the technology changes affecting them.

Furthermore, IT auditors are increasingly involved in major tech projects. Some 35 per cent say they are brought in during the planning phase of such projects, while 44 per cent say they have a significant impact on major tech projects in their organisations. Nearly half (47 per cent) say IT auditors will be significantly more involved in these projects in the next three to five years.

Among the new technologies that IT auditors most want to learn more about are predictive analytics; artificial intelligence; blockchain; machine learning; and robotic process automation.

Auditors with this key IT knowledge are likely to be in high demand, say recruiters. More than two-thirds of recruiters say they have difficulty recruiting auditors with the required technical skills, and 64 per cent say the technical skills gap is having an impact on performing IT audits with a high degree of confidence.

To help IT auditors acquire the skills needed for the future, ISACA has launched a Transforming IT Audit website, with resources on AI, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) and more. 

This article was first published in April 2019.