IT due diligence can be a clincher

Buyer beware is always a useful adage, but times are changing and it is no longer enough.

Buyer beware is always a useful adage, but times are changing and it is no longer enough.

Sell your home and you will now have to provide potential purchasers with a report on your pride and joy's provenance and state of repair.

Work for a company that is up for sale and the IT department is increasingly expected to provide a similar report, How your IT can make or break the deal, for potential buyers - a vendor due diligence report.

We are in the midst of a mergers and acquisitions boom and vendor due diligence is becoming an important element in attracting a purchaser. As IT systems are increasingly central to business organisations, IT due diligence is now just as important as the traditional examination of balance sheets and market prospects.

For the IT department in a takeover target, vendor due diligence should be viewed less as an imposition and more as a potential lifeline.

Being able to adequately document your systems, processes, software assets, outsourcing commitments, business continuity plans and even your staff skills profile, proves you are running a tight ship.

It can convince potential purchasers of the value of you and your team to a merged operation.

Fail to demonstrate your IT department is up to scratch and it can either break the deal or invite the purchaser to adopt a rip-and-replace approach to both systems and staff soon after completion.

One degree under

The drop in the number of people applying for computer science degrees at British universities should set alarm bells ringing.

Numbers were down 10.3% for the current academic year - three times the average fall for all applicants, according to the universities' clearing service UCAS.

Few IT managers have ever claimed to be totally happy with the people turned out from university computing departments. For many years the complaint has gone up about graduates lacking the wider business skills needed to deliver responsive IT services.

Nevertheless, it is time to be concerned if young people increasingly believe that our industry no longer offers a well-paid and interesting career.

IT is at the heart of every business development. It is at the heart of transforming the public sector, and it is up to all of us to enthuse the next generation of the workforce that it is the place to be.

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