When it comes to merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, IT departments and the way that consolidation is handled can create or disrupt an efficient transition. Mike Weaver, Technical Product Manager at Quest specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, explains why IT teams need to be at the center of a merger and acquisition to drive change at the organizational level.
IT teams have always played a prominent role in organizations, especially in mergers and acquisitions. They provide and maintain the infrastructure for business operations. The best IT teams keep pace with rapidly evolving technology, constantly updating, refining, and defining business use cases for better operations, cost savings, and strategic benefits.
Over the years, IT teams have grown from problem-solving service organizations to major drivers of innovation. Not only do they make business easier. They often drive change at the organizational level. Because of this, CIOs have become part of the inner circle in companies and many take the plunge to become CEOs.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), IT departments and the way that consolidation is handled can create or disrupt an efficient transition.
Mergers and acquisitions affect everyone
Mergers and acquisitions go far beyond the mere pooling of resources. It creates new dynamics within an organization. Employees can understandably be nervous. They worry about their jobs, their roles in a new organizational structure, and whether something will change. It is a time of uncertainty.
Employees can watch colleagues and friends get laid off as companies merge functional areas. You may be worried if they’re the next. After a merger, motivation often suffers – especially within the company to be taken over. Maintaining work ethic, maintaining employee engagement, and keeping things running smoothly can be a challenge.
IT teams will feel all of these emotions and be right in the middle of it. However, unlike other areas of your business, infrastructure affects everything you do. You don’t want your IT team to worry about their future when they have to make critical infrastructure changes as business and culture come together. IT teams that go first enable them to lead by example.
Face these challenges directly. The sooner you can align your company’s assets and help everyone understand their place in the new order, the faster the stress can be relieved. If there are layoffs or downsizing, do so as soon as possible to avoid periods of uncertainty. If roles change, employees report to different managers, or corporate goals shift, be as open and transparent as possible as quickly as possible.
Prepare IT for mergers and acquisitions
Early planning for IT, including migrating users and assets, should begin as soon as possible. First, IT teams need to stabilize their own system so they can do the actual migration work. We saw some really bad scenarios where the team couldn’t communicate because they disabled their own system on the project. It really should be part of the due diligence process because of the potential for cost savings and layoffs.
Planning should be careful about what needs to be done, but also who will do the job. An important factor in M&A is to identify the key actors who will oversee the merging of IT systems and which actors in the new corporate structure will fulfill the mission. The last thing you want is for the key players to worry about their position or role when you need them for business-critical tasks.
The rapid development and recognition of executives in mergers and acquisitions accelerates planning and execution. It increases the likelihood of successful integration. With uncertainty behind your back, your IT team can move forward with confidence.
Depending on how complex your infrastructure is, there is likely to be a lot of work to do to bring systems together. For example, if you’re planning an Office 365 migration, you might be dealing with multi-tenant configurations and system decommissioning. And that is only one aspect of bringing your IT systems together.
Planning what systems to keep, what data is going where, and how much integration is required before companies are merged will take most of the work. Once the planning is complete, the real hands-on work can begin.
Consolidate and collaborate asap
Quickly making decisions about your IT team will give you more time to organize during mergers and acquisitions. Some of the changes you need to make may take a while. The longer you wait for decisions, the longer the transition will take.
IT has to be ready from day one and can help to be a pilot at an early stage and give meaningful feedback. Merging systems means some disruption that can affect productivity and, if poorly planned, can easily lead to data loss or system failure. It is important to minimize this interruption as much as possible. It goes beyond providing employees with the tools they need to work efficiently. Without the alignment of the IT systems, companies will have difficulty seeing the full status of their financial situation. They may not be able to demonstrate the type of operational responsibility they have to uphold.
Since Office 365 is installed as standard in many companies, the rapid consolidation of tenants is a key factor for a successful integration. Organizations need to be more strategic than reactive in dealing with this consolidation. One of the keys is the data collection process:
- User: The number of users and what permissions they have
- Data volume: How much data needs to be migrated plays a role in the length of the project
- Usage and activity: This will help define the impact of the change and identify items that do not need to be moved, such as: B. Unused email distribution lists
- Workload configurations: This helps determine the complexity of the move
It’s also important to manage software licenses for compliance and usage. A recent analysis of a database of 3.4 million Office 365 users found that 18% of licenses were unused or unallocated. This is roughly the equivalent of $ 150,000 wasted in an organization with 10,000 users. License management is often overlooked in M&A, but it can lead to significant savings.
In a merger or acquisition, it’s also important to quickly set the parameters for delegation and policy management.
Management of a successful merger or acquisition
From CIOs to IT teams, system administrators to security managers and technical directors for migration and acquisition, planning an effective merger requires teamwork. The earlier the consolidation occurs, the more successful your migration will be.
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