Proper technology due diligence is required for a few situations. You might be involved in the funding or sale of a start up. You may be engaged in a merger or acquisition. Or, you could possibly be improving an existing organization or department. Wherever you are in the industry, IT due diligence can help you discover valuable opportunities.
The key to finding these opportunities is the process. Without a sound due diligence process or checklist in place, you will be leaving money on the table. Furthermore, you would not have a process to improve on. And, we always want to be improving as tech people, right?
Here is a basic process that almost all professionals can use to analyze technology within an organization. This will help you get started on your own process, tailored to your needs. More importantly, your process can be refined and improved from there. As a result, you might find yourself doing regular technology audits because they are so successful.
Outline Entire Technology Infrastructure
You will need to first understand the entire infrastructure from a broad view. Think of this as an eagle eye view of how the company uses technology. This includes everything from core competencies, digital security systems and even the VoIP solution. You do not want to overlook anything that affects the way the company operates.
Prioritize IT Infrastructure
Break down the various parts of technology being used by the organization. This may include software, automation, networks, etc. Or, you can break it down into support, services, products, etc. Once the technologies are broken down into categories and prioritized, you can start assessing each piece.
Analyze Existing Technology
As you start going through each technology, list the costs, performance and any potential opportunities that you might have in your mind. Here, you are looking for excess capacity, downtime or wasted resources. As you explore, compare if you have any hosted technologies that could perform better and cheaper with cloud based solutions.
Create A Report Of Opportunities
Not surprisingly, you will find room for improvement. Next, you will want to list the potential opportunities to improve productivity. This way, you can convince key decision makers of the changes required. If you are the key decision maker, then the report will help you track all potential changes for implementation.
Keep In Mind
It is also important to keep in mind that technology is rarely the reason for the failure of a business, though it most certainly can frequently be the cause of success. Business IT is constantly evolving and changing, so it is easy to fix earlier mistakes or improve on lackluster processes. Keep this in mind. Though a technology solution may not be perfect in its infancy stages, there is plenty of opportunity to restructure and improve.
Your new technology due diligence report should contain some hidden gems for the company. In some cases, you may find breakthrough core competencies or technology with multiple applications. The time spent on IT due diligence is rarely ever considered wasted. It is worth it.
Are you in the process of analyzing a company’s technology? Do you have a current process in place? Is there anything we should add? Please let us know in the comments. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Image from http://www.tobiasclarsson.com/2011/05/assessing-the-value-of-sub-system-technologies-including-life-cycle-alternatives/