Original Date: 06/02/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Technical Due Diligence
ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. identified the need to be a rapid adopter of new technologies to differentiate itself from its competitors. At the same time, the company needed to continue delivering successful solutions with low to moderate risk to its clients. To satisfy these conflicting requirements, ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. developed and implemented a technical due diligence process, allowing the evaluation and use of new technologies as they become viable and reducing risk to projects using this new technology.
ABC Virtual Communications, Inc. (ABCV) identified the need to be a rapid adopter of new technologies to differentiate itself from its competitors. Previously, only the following options were available to use new and unknown technologies: hire someone with experience in this new technology; partner with a firm that had experience with this new technology; or use the new technology and accept the risk of working with an unknown and unproven technology.
To reap the benefits of being an early adopter of new technologies and still reduce risk to its clients, ABCV developed a technical due diligence process. When ABCV identifies a new and viable technology that it wants to use, several steps are taken to evaluate that technology. First, viable products that implement that technology must be identified and then evaluated. Evaluation consists of performing the following tasks: comparing product-specific features, determining compliance with open standards, understanding the product’s relationship to the existing infrastructure, and examining the performance of each product. After a product is selected, a prototype is built to gather hands-on experience, and then team training is done to share the new knowledge. ABCV can then safely benefit from the use of new technologies and use the experience gained in this process as a differentiator when competing for new contracts.
By implementing the technical due diligence process, ABCV can quickly adopt new technologies without hiring new staff or risking costly mistakes in the development process. Using new technologies has several benefits including: increasing the performance of new or existing software projects (by increasing the load the project can handle and/or the speed in which it can handle a load); decreasing the development time to deliver a new project; and adding new functionality that did not previously exist.
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