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MakingITclear, Inc.
4610 Clipper Bay Rd.
Duluth, GA 30096

Phone: +1 770 331-6979
Fax: +1 770 234-5347

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Three Technology Surprises in Acquisitions, and How to Avoid Them

What is this thing called "acquisition due diligence", and how does due diligence for information technology differ from any other kind of acquisition due diligence? These questions will be answered in this article which describes the three IT surprises that you want to avoid.

Did you know that most people doing IT due diligence only avoid one of the three surprises? Get the article and find out about the other two surprises you need to avoid!

In the article I say, "In simple terms, due diligence is the elimination of future surprises." Yet most IT due diligence done today is done the same way that financial due diligence is usually done: it just tries to verify the accuracy of the asset inventory. That eliminates one surprise, but that's not the surprise you have to worry about! IT is much more than computers and software; if you don't look at other aspects of IT, then you run the risk of huge unexpected expenses after the acquisition is complete. I've even seen acquisitions that are so crippled by IT expenses that the acquiring company ends up selling off the assets of the new acquisition just to try to salvage something out of the deal. These are clearly failed acquisitions.

Don't make those mistakes! Learn what to watch out for when you do IT due diligence. It's simple stuff, and you probably have people who have the skills to do the work, but this aspect of IT due diligence is often forgotten.

Building on Harwell's technology due diligence experience from over twenty acquisitions, this three-page article gives you the overview you'll need to get started on your own IT due diligence.

Download the white paper

Outline of this white paper


Three Possible Technology Surprises

How much due diligence is enough?


“I downloaded your article as the subject has a large overlap with my experience in IT Due Diligence as a Programme Manager. While you focus on M&A IT Due Diligence, the principles you espouse are all indeed very apt and valid - especially in today's IT market where integration of multiple and complex IT systems ... create the risk of high cost of ownership and support for the Outsourcing Supplier or Target Company.
...Your article was thought-provoking and value-for-money.”
– Dr Paul M. Wright, Head of European Operations, CAI Europe Ltd

“... great reading. I was doing IT due diligence of some banks for a consortium and needed to get a feel of the state of the art – I wasn’t disappointed. Thanks for making it so easy to follow.”
Tajudeen Balogun, CEO, Infosol Ltd, Nigeria

About the Author

Harwell Thrasher has spent over 30 years working in and around IT organizations: as a developer of information systems, as a manager of software development groups, and as a technology vice-president. Harwell has worked for major companies, including Digital Equipment Corporation (now part of Hewlett-Packard) and Ceridian Corporation (originally called Control Data Corporation). He's done technology due diligence for over twenty corporate acquisitions in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Switzerland. He's been a speaker at the Microsoft CIO Summit, and at meetings of numerous technical and non-technical societies. He's seen systems come and go, organizations succeed and fail, and leaders make a difference or get fired. He's seen the difference between mediocre IT and effective IT. Now you can benefit from his experience.


This white paper is for informational purposes only. It is important to consult with an attorney regarding specific situations your company encounters.

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