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Introduction

Edouard, an external PhD candidate at the Business University of Amsterdam, lives in Amsterdam. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business IT and two Master’s degrees in Information Science. Additionally, he has completed a postdoctoral RE degree and is a registered IT auditor with a NOREA subscription. Edouard is also a senior lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam and connected to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Summary

The main question to be addressed in Edouard’s PhD study is: What constitutes the function and significance of IT audit in the context of the contemporary era characterized by digital transformation? This study employs a deductive methodology based on a sequential theoretical framework, adopting a top-down theoretical exposition. The logical discourse begins with broad chronological assertions to derive coherent and reasoned outcomes, subsequently progressing towards detailed and operationalized concepts. As a result, this study examines the function and significance of IT audit in the era of digital transformation from historical, current, and future perspectives.

The study adopts a mixed-methods approach, integrating both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. By combining multiple methods, the research aims to enhance the validity and reliability of the findings and provide a comprehensive exploration of the research problem.

The first research question (RQ1) explores the evolution of IT auditing over time, from its inception to its current state, and identifies the key factors that have influenced its development and adaptation. This question is addressed through a qualitative chronological literature study, organized in a chronological sequence. This approach allows for the exploration of the historical development and evolution of key concepts, theories, and methodologies relevant to IT auditing. The theoretical framework helps identify significant shifts, trends, and paradigmatic changes over time, enabling a profound analysis of how the field has evolved and responded to various influences and instances.

The second research question (RQ2) examines the alignment between the present landscape of IT auditing and evolving technological advancements and changing organizational demands. It investigates how this alignment influences the effectiveness and relevance of IT audit practices. This question employs a mixed-methods research approach, combining both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A structured survey questionnaire is developed to gather quantitative data from a diverse sample of IT auditors, professionals, and stakeholders. The survey assesses the current state of IT auditing practices, technological adoption, and alignment with organizational needs. Statistical analysis techniques are used to analyze the survey data.

The third research question (RQ3) investigates the emerging and disruptive technologies that are most likely to significantly transform the landscape of IT auditing in the coming years. It seeks to devise strategies to anticipate, embrace, and effectively integrate these technologies to enhance audit processes, accuracy, and overall effectiveness. This question utilizes the Delphi Method, engaging a panel of experts consisting of IT auditors, technology innovators, industry leaders, and academics. A series of structured surveys or interviews are conducted to gather insights on emerging technologies that have the potential to transform IT auditing. The Delphi Method helps anticipate and identify technologies likely to have a significant impact on the field.

Edouard’s PhD project aims to provide a detailed understanding of the evolving role of IT auditing amidst digital transformation, drawing from historical, current, and future perspectives to offer comprehensive insights and strategic recommendations for the profession.