Technical Due Diligence: Understanding your R&D Landscape
This article was contributed by Stephen Berry, Software Architect at Cultura Technologies, a Volaris Group company in the agri-food vertical.
There are several items that business owners need to prepare documentation on during the due diligence process. One of the areas you’ll need to provide detailed information on is your technology.
It’s common for owners to focus their sights on the latest iterations of their core product, especially if it has been re-platformed. However, acquirers will want to understand the whole deployment landscape. You should be prepared to share information about all the products you are maintaining and supporting.
How to prepare for technical due diligence:
Establish a complete product list
Include all current and legacy products, core software, add-on modules and hardware.
Create your technical due diligence spreadsheet
Include a breakdown of all the development languages, technologies and platforms used.
This should include those used:
- to build your products
- to provide the target operating system environments
- to deploy each product in the target environments
Clearly organize your information
Include the version numbers for each separate tool, making sure to document both 3rd party and Open Source used for each product. Having or knowing where to obtain license and maintenance contracts and agreements for each tool will save time later.
Honesty and transparency are key
If you have an archaic 30-year-old tool you use, please do not be too embarrassed to tell your buyer about it. It’s important to be open and upfront during technical due diligence to avoid potential warranty claims post acquisition.
What to Expect During Due Diligence
A typical due diligence process lasts 4-8 weeks, though you can potentially expedite the process by having your checklist items prepared in advance. For more information on due diligence and an example due diligence checklist, read Volaris’ guide to What to Expect During Due Diligence.