Hi Dawn, Ian has already answered the question really well and raises a number of key points to remember.
A family member of mine is in charge of the whole IT Function for a large, global business. Whenever he is made aware of an impending merger or acquisition he always asks about their software and hardware estate. He wants to understand (before they are integrated);
1. What the biggest risks are in terms of non-compliance
2. What the biggest spends are in terms of software
3. State of the hardware, aka how old is it, how much umph (technical term!) it has and how it relates to licensing (cores etc)
4. Any processes or policies that have been used before hand to manage the ITAM estate
5. Detailed information on all ITAM related contracts.
Unfortunately, as Ian has mentioned, he rarely actually gets sufficient information before they are 'integrated' into his function. Software and hardware assets seem to be an after-thought for the business during this process, but it if any merger or acquisitions are to go smoothly then it is vital that any concerns are addressed.
Recently, they have purchased another organization and identified that they actually need to rectify a number of problems with Microsoft licensing. Unfortunately, this was not address as he wasn’t provided the adequate information, so now his organisation (and him) have to pay for and sort out the mess!
Pointing out the obvious here, but make sure you understand the contract and restrictions with any contacts and licenses you inherit. There may be strict restrictions!