Technology due diligence refers to an assessment of the technology infrastructure of a given property, which can be of great value for a variety of endeavors. Are you:
Considering a building for purchase?
Preparing for a rollout of the latest and greatest technology?
Planning a major cosmetic renovation?
While contemplating any of the above investments, understanding the building’s technology infrastructure can prove to be a financially prudent undertaking. Doing so may identify hidden costs (or value) and surprises, and assist in developing accurate budgets and timelines for technology implementation at your property.
If you were considering a prospective building purchase, would you be interested if there was a functional emergency generator? Or, would you care about the condition and capacity of the HVAC systems? Is it important that the fire alarm system meet latest code requirements? These issues are usually addressed in some manner prior to a purchase because doing so is financially advantageous. However, the technology infrastructure is often overlooked. We would recommend the same attention be granted the building’s current technology capabilities as is given to other building systems. This too can be a beneficial exercise and can determine:
- The speed with which data can travel in the building over the existing infrastructure and a timeline when that same cabling plant should be replaced or upgraded (future cost).
- The current cellular coverage within the building. Is there a problem that will create tenant or guest dissatisfaction?
- The building’s current telecom service providers and where/how they enter the building. Is this adequate? Does it work for your plans for the building? Does the building have or need valuable redundant, separate path feeds for providers?
- The current contractual arrangements with service providers that are to be assumed by the purchasing party.
- Is there valuable equipment within the building, or is it dated?
A due diligence site assessment of technology infrastructure can also be beneficial if considering a new rollout of the latest technology. You have likely read numerous articles regarding the rapid changes in technology that are primarily being driven by changes in content delivery. What is sometimes overlooked is the corresponding maturation of the existing, more traditional communications systems, such as a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Master Antenna Television (MATV) systems.
In this rapidly changing environment (think cellular voice and data or IP/Internet video) determining an existing technology’s useable life can be difficult to assess. Planning for technology is a smart thing to do.
Common questions heard regarding the technology infrastructure are:
How far can I stretch my existing systems’ useful life?
When and how should I plan an upgrade from my existing systems?
What are my options?
When will the price point make sense for me?
These are all valid questions when pondering an upgrade to the latest and greatest.
An assessment of existing technologies and capabilities can help establish a master plan, identify the required budgets, and smooth the transition to new technologies.
Building renovations are another process for which a property technology assessment can be of value. It seems that aging décor and evolving styles most often dictate when a property plans for a new look through a renovation. For those of us in the technology industry, a renovation also represents an opportunity to update not just what’s on the walls, but what’s in them.
While the technology implemented for a given site may not affect the aesthetics of your property, it certainly will affect how occupants feel. Poor TV or cellular reception, or slow internet access, are often sources of discontent for building inhabitants. So, when a renovation presents itself for whatever the reason, it is prudent to establish a corresponding technology plan to support the easy, trouble-free use of technology within you facility, beginning with .
Planning before building applies to technology as it does to all major engineering systems when evaluating a building sale/purchase, planning a new technology rollout, or undertaking a project renovation/restoration. Conducting a technology due diligence assessment of technology infrastructure can be a valuable asset to all of these processes.
by Scott Dupuis
NTI was founded by Jeff Cook and his partners to provide professional commercial technology consultation services. Since 1998, NTI has developed impressive portfolios for many markets, with a collective portfolio of over 1,300 projects.