Why and Where Consultants Can Speed and Smooth Your M&AJune 19, 2018
Technology is the #1 thing that can make the difference between a strong, successful merger—or a weak misfire. That’s because IT supports more than half of the benefits an organization often expects to get from a merger (Gartner). So for a merger to be deemed a success, it’s doubly important that you make the IT integration smooth and efficient.
One of the best ways to do this is to hire an expert to guide you through it. Here are some of the top reasons to partner with a consultant, plus some places where they can help.
Benefits of using consultants
For many technology teams, mergers happen once in a blue moon. This means it’s hard to become or stay an expert in the integration process. And even if your company routinely acquires others, it’s likely not something you’re involved in every week or even month.
On the other hand, a consultant does this day in and day out. They’ve come up against a wide variety of scenarios and know exactly what to look for to help you speed the process and minimize risk. Consultants can help you:
- Reduce your internal workload by augmenting your staff
- Take advantage of proven, repeatable ways of doing things
- Transfer knowledge by shadowing or formal staff training
- Get an independent assessment of opportunities and risk
- Make your IT integration better and faster
- Increase your credibility with your executive team
- Up the chances that the deal is a success
Ideas for where to use them
You can involve a consultant all stages of your merger—both before and after you sign the deal. They can guide you through due diligence up front, help you plan and execute a strong Day One, and then integrate IT in the weeks and months afterward.
Here are some common ways enterprises tend to involve consultants:
- Assess your targets. When you’re looking for the right company to acquire, consultants can bring a fresh, neutral perspective. They can help you better estimate cost, time, and effort, plus point out any sticking points you might not have thought of.
- Plan for Day One. This is arguably the most important day of the merger, as it sets the tone for everything that comes after. You want your users to have as pleasant of an experience as possible, with positive and effective communication about anything that’s expected from them. A consultant can help you check all the boxes and start things off on the right foot.
- Support integration over the long term. Your internal IT team often needs to stay focused on keeping the business running. So it can be helpful to have an external team dedicated to keeping the integration on schedule.
- Transfer knowledge. Even if you decide to outsource parts of your merger to a consultant, you’ll still want to stay the owner of all key decisions and communication. Gartner says that the most effective use of consultants tends to be when they support the M&A but leave ongoing ownership with the internal IT team.
Is this something you’re interested in? If so, we at Binary Tree are standing by to help. Mergers are the most common type of project we work on, and we’ve worked on the largest and most complex ones on the planet. Over that time, we’ve developed end-to-end M&A solutions that can help you:
To find out more about what we can do for you, get in touch. We look forward to working with you on your next merger.
Source: Gartner. Why, Where and How to Use Consultants for M&A IT Integration. October 2017.