So You Think You’re ITIL Ready? Pretend Your Company is Being Sold to Find Out.


Pretending wasn’t what I’ve been doing for the last two months while participating in some very intense due diligence reviews.  I realized very quickly we don’t have a very good ITIL.

Part of the sale will include relocating all of our infrastructure (for the fourth time) to a new yet-to-be-determined data center.  During all of the interviews, emails, flights, visits, and phone calls, I’ve been able to define what a potential buyer requires to satisfy their due diligence inquires.

If you can quickly (within 1-business day) provide all of the following info, your ITIL rocks!


  • “In-house” (proprietary) Software or Programs?

    • Do you know who developed it?  Are they still with the company?

    • Is it intellectual property?

    • Is it somewhere that you can access now and after the sale?

    • Excel Macros could count, do you have the source code? The algorithms?

  • 3rd party or off-the-shelf.

    • Who supports it?  Are they still with the company?

    • Is it transferrable?

    • If so, what does it cost to transfer?

    • Do you have a consent on file before Close?

  • Vendor Management

    • Do you have a process or system?  Is it current?

    • Is centralized and is ONE person in charge of it?

    • Can you produce a contract or EULA?  Doesn’t matter what your procurement policy says, you need to know what you can legally move over.

  • Data Feeds (oh, this is a real joy in an organization with Traders:)

    • Do you have all of the data feeds listed?

    • How do you know?  People will have signed up for feeds using their corporate credit cards. Is your expense process good enough to catch those and point them towards IT to manage?

    • Do you have a Data Feeds Manager? 

  • Network Diagrams

    • Are they easy to understand by non-techies?

    • Are they detailed enough for network techies?

    • Do you own your network devices or are they shared?

  • ITIL

    • ITIL using Excel isn’t ITIL.  You need a system with REPORTS.  Manually tracking your inventory means you’ll never be current.  AUTOMATE.

    • You will continually provide this data to various parties at odd times.  IT MUST BE CONSISTENT.  Speak from one source.

    • One authoritative person or system (preferably system) for this data, don’t let developers provide infrastructure info.  An infrastructure tech wouldn’t provide code <shudder>, right?

    • Don’t forget the little stuff.  Nobody likes to find out after an RFP release that you’ve been using WAN accelerators in the home office.

  • Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM)

    • See ITIL, same rules apply, but there’s more stuff.

    • Differentiate between active-synch devices and Blackberries early in the process.  Let the buyer know if you have both. 

    • Nobody tracks mice and keyboards unless they track mice and keyboards.  Ask.  Don’t assume.

  • Microsoft Licensing

    • This is a separate area that you should have a solid grasp on NOW.  If not, get it.

    • Validate your last true-up.  Does it contain all your Software Assurance software titles. Work with your TAM to get this accurate. 

    • What will it take to move to a new company.  A name change versus a joint venture. It makes a difference.

  • Focus

    • Know what is important at Close and after.  Stay focused on the right stuff at the right time.  Is it really critical to closing the deal?

    • Due diligence and pre-Close tasks are not the time to squabble over policy or processes.  These can all be hammered out after the transition period.

    • Transition Service Agreement (TSA) – make sure the buyer knows how long it will take to leave your previous buyer, environment, or location.  Get into this discussion early.  Money or time, you rarely get the luxury of both.

These are just the highlights of what I’ve learned over the last two-months. It’s an exciting yet worrisome time for anyone who’s going through something like this.  The point of the post is to get you an outline you can use to start organizing.  It’s always good to impress a new boss.

I recommend looking really hard at Service Manger 2010.  There is no better time than the present.



    About Doug Sigmon

    IT Helpdesk manager in southern California. Love technology, gadgets, and golf.
    This entry was posted in ALM, ITIL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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