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Auditing sites - Your advice please?

By dharker ·
As a new IT manager I have been asked to visit a newly acquired company to audit their IT hardware and software with a view to integrating them onto my corporate network. Do you guys (and girls!) have any tips and advice for best practice in this area and how best to capture appropriate information in a single visit?

Many thanks!

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Multiple Visits

by Wayne M. In reply to Auditing sites - Your adv ...

Forget the idea of a single visit. To be successful will require a longer term commitment.

Before the initial visit, create a hit list of hot items for integration. E-mail is usually a top priority. Beyond that, how is the acquisition going to work from a business point of view? Is the acquired company going to be its own cost center? In that case integration of the accounting systems would probably be a lower priority. Are people in both companies going to have to work together on a daily basis? In that case things like telephone integration (perhaps VOIP) and perhaps teleconferencing may be important. Is HR going to be combined? In this case, web site integration to share policies and procedures may be important. Are proposals or other documents going to be cowritten? In this case file-sharing is key (think fileservers, or wikis, or tools like SharePoint or iManage).

Identify the issues that are immediate, not just eventually important. This is the time to be very objective, in order to identify an integration plan that can succeed. Try to get down to 1 or 2, certainly no more than 3 initial integration tasks. Now you can do an audit focussed on just those tasks. Find out what you have and what they have. Determine what budgets you have available and determine how best to merge workflows.

No be prepared to repeat the process at least quarterly for the next 2 years and at least yearly after that. Nothing undermines acquisitions more than poor communications and IT needs to be at the forefront in making sure that communications work well, especially when people can no longer just walk down the hallway to see what is going on.

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by The Admiral In reply to Auditing sites - Your adv ...

First of all, the newly acquired IT department is the best place to start to ask questions. One is what the mainstream systems used is, second is what the notebook series used is, and last is if there are any out of the ordinary systems.

Second, the newly acquired financial department is in charge of depreciating those assets, and should have a complete list, all of the models, and all other information.

Third, generation of a tool or a scanner on the network or a emailed tool to take inventory of the system would be the next step.

Last, I would also see what their plans were as far as workstation replacement, then build a plan around what you find. But it is not a matter of talking to the people who work with the systems, but rather, working with the FA's who see the systems and are depreciating them.

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