Mergers and Acquisitions: Making or Breaking IT Integration

 Strategy Success Chess Board | Binary Tree

Whether it is a singular event or continuous activity, mergers and acquisitions are always complex and challenging. Industry reports have shown even the savviest of IT strategies can quickly go off the rails and fail. Most often, that’s because the companies do not see the benefits they expect after the deal goes through.

Here is the most important advice we can give you in order to increase your chances of success: integrate your IT as quickly and painlessly as possible. Technology alone will not make the deal, but it can absolutely break it.  During an M&A, IT teams often have the highest volume of integration activity over the longest period, and commonly have the highest number of dependencies from other functions.  According to Gartner more than 50% of all integration activities depend on IT.

With a bulk of integration responsibilities falling on IT teams, here are some actions to consider for your next merger or acquisition:

Get a seat at the table

Only 50% of companies tend to involve IT early in the M&A process, compared to 80% who involve finance. But the companies who don’t involve IT up front often find their merger much more challenging, with a likelihood of significantly overrunning both costs and deadlines because of underestimating the IT integration scope.  So it’s important for IT to get a seat at any M&A planning meetings, ideally well before the deal closes.

Think “no compromise”

Impeded communication between the merging organizations often leads to eventual downtime.  And if email is down, there’s a chance that important communication might be delayed or missed altogether with normal daily business operations coming to a screeching halt.  So you should take a “no compromise” approach to your integration and migration.  Avoid the hassle of manual workarounds or faulty tools that will require unacceptable downtime.  And half-baked solutions that are unable to solve all of your challenges are definitely not the answer.

Modern Approach

To get a modern, seamless integration and migration, you should:

  • Do a high-velocity cloud migration at scale
  • Set up scalable coexistence with full automation
  • Deliver a superior experience with minimal end-user impact
  • Help users collaborate as a single team, whether they’ve been migrated or not
  • Automate admin, which provides seamless migration across on-premises and tenant-based groups

Hit the ground running on day one

There are a couple of quick wins that are critical for 'Day One' that are simple with the right tenant-to-tenant cloud migration solutions. Namely, you should unify your directory and your domain. A unified directory lets people find and communicate with each other through email, chat, and calendar invites. And the unified domain helps everyone send email from the same address.

Summary

Integration planning should begin well before a deal closes so the merged organization can be operational on Day One. The IT integration team should develop a clear strategy for determining what systems to keep, what data to migrate, and what processes to follow, as well as initial organizational structures and key performance measurements.

Binary Tree has supported thousands of enterprise mergers and acquisitions.  We’ve worked on the largest and most complex M&A transactions on the planet. Our end-to-end enterprise M&A solutions enable organizations to achieve their business and integration goals.

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 or acquisition.