Due diligence in the tech sector

Dr James Gough
October 24, 2023
Read: 3 min

Infinite Lambda’s due diligence process is open source and available to all organisations.

Click here to download your copy today.


“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” — MAHATMA GANDHI

As a consultancy, we have the privilege to work with some fantastic organisations. Our main objective is to help empower and transform them through data and cloud engineering. As our reputation and expertise has grown as a company, we have gained more choice over who we work with, what we do for them, and how we do it.

Why we do due diligence

We have always considered ourselves a mission-driven company. In the beginning we did not so much have choices, but red lines. Sectors we would choose not engage with at any cost. This was due to the real or perceived negative impacts of their product or service, be it on society, the environment or both.

Although crude, these red lines kept us honest and aligned in the early days when money was tight and we were more vulnerable to temptation. Both the executive team and the wider company bought into these red lines and it has served to keep us accountable to each other.

However, good organisations and good people can be found in the dirtiest of sectors. Equally, bad apples are hiding amongst the good. There are individuals and teams everywhere working to make change happen through innovation and better utilisation of existing technology. Finding them is the key.

A robust due diligence process in tech

Our crude approach to sector and client selection quickly became redundant in a complex world. Over the past 18 months we have developed and deployed a due diligence process that has helped us to crystallise our thinking and better analyse the client organisations we serve and partner with. It seeks to cover multiple areas including the governance of the client organisation, impact of their product or service, complexity of the technology project in question, their financial stability, and their organisational culture.

The weighting given to each of these areas has been a source of debate internally. I am not sure we are fully there yet. However, going through the process has brought out many points of discussion and challenge, which has been inspiring and energising in and of itself. It has given all employees ownership and accountability over the work we do, and the choices we make as a collective.

What if it is not a fit?

Recently, my colleagues in one of our business units received a referral from a partner. The client was a very large manufacturing company. It would have been one of the largest clients we had ever worked with. The team put the company through our due diligence proforma. The company failed to meet our benchmark. Below is a short extract of our response to the partner organisation who kindly sent the referral:

“As a mission driven organisation, we carry out due diligence on every client to ensure they meet the criteria required for Infinite Lambda to benchmark as a socially and environmentally impactful company. Our due diligence process incorporates B Corporation criteria, as well as guidance from UN SDGs and the World Economic Forum's global risk data.

We have learnt over the years that being too binary about the industries we work and do not work with is unhelpful, because there is a lot of innovation and progress being made in traditionally harmful industries. In that respect, we do not wish to close down client opportunities that may lead to positive impact. In this case however, it is a project directly related to the core business of the client, which we cannot support.”

Digging into the due diligence documentation provided by my colleagues, the client prospect scored very well on the technical and financial aspects. It looked to be an excellent data project that would have benefited our employees experientially. It was also a potentially lucrative engagement over a long period of time, working in lock-step with our technology partners.

However, the organisation failed on our governance and ethical tests. The products are well known to cause potentially fatal health problems. In addition, my colleagues found well-sourced evidence of poor governance and disingenuous philanthropic practices.


As a consultancy, we are nothing without our clients. In many ways, our reputation is only as good as they are. The impact of their product or service is one major measure of our own impact on the world. Once we have done the work, we lose any sense of agency. We therefore have to be careful who we work for, and what we do for them.

I have written before about the immoral practices of consultancies and other service organisations. Hiding behind the client should not be an option but it happens too often.

Turning this around, by using our methodology, we are able to hold ourselves to account. As a result, we have crafted the most amazing tapestry of clients that are here to change the world. We work with them to help achieve a mission we can all believe in. Long after we have gone, we can be more confident our legacy is in good hands.

Infinite Lambda’s due diligence process is open source and available to all organisations.

Click here to download your copy of the due diligence form.

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