June 26, 2017
After an IT merger or acquisition, there are a lot of questions to answer. How do we incorporate the product line of the new acquisition? How do we handle overlapping workforce responsibilities? Yet, one of the most delicate issues to resolve is how to integrate two distinct IT systems together to form a cohesive environment.
Furthermore, you’re not simply merging systems. Your IT merger and acquisition combines two IT teams as well, and each of those departments may have relationships with 3rd party managed service providers and technology consultants. Untangling all this complexity can be a significant challenge, but with a little planning beforehand, the process can go more smoothly.
Workflow for IT Merger and Acquisition Strategy
The best place to begin your IT merger and acquisition strategy is with an assessment of the physical IT professionals that make up each individual team. Assess their strengths, assess their weaknesses, and assess the needs of the new unified IT department. Be on the lookout for overlapping skillsets and responsibilities, potential power hierarchy problems, and consider how the meshing of company cultures will affect this team.
3rd Party Managed Service Providers and Consultants:
It can be tempting to think of a legacy managed service provider from before the merger or acquisition as an unnecessary expense, but it can also be an opportunity. Chances are this managed service provider is going to have greater familiarity with the acquired environment than the company that acquired it. These groups can provide much needed support for your IT merger and acquisition strategy and even continue that support once the merger is complete.
Processes and Procedures:
Every company has their own way of doing things, their own procedures that they follow. Take time to understand how the acquired IT department functions and why it functions that way. Change is difficult, and most people are reluctant to change the processes that they are accustomed to. Rather than completely altering how the department functions, it may be worthwhile to merge processes together and synthesize a new system from the two previously independent IT departments.
Infrastructure and Applications:
You must carefully map out both environments noting infrastructure and applications for each, including cloud deployments. With both maps in hand, you can more easily spot overlap, waste, and inefficiency. From there, it is a matter of configuring the two environments to integrate together in the most cost effective way.
Assess Your Risk and Execute
Almost every IT decision incurs at least a small amount of risk. An IT director must keep these risks in mind during the acquisition and merger process, but the task still has to be completed in a timely manner. Establish priorities and move from there. At all levels of the business, governance structures should be built to facilitate the acquisition and keep the process moving, and that includes in the IT department.
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