Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions can be exciting but complicated, stressful yet invigorating – like learning how to drive. M&As can have several challenges, and the ones pertaining to our IT infrastructure can put our processes and company cultures at risk. But here’s the thing… if we prioritise our IT solutions and understand the challenges that can come with them during M&A deals, we’ll be able to carry out any transformation quickly and safely.
Though it may sound like a lot of work on everyone’s part, it’s an essential practice. You and your staff (whether they work in the IT department or elsewhere) ought to stay abreast of the inner workings of your organisation’s evolving IT environment to ensure that technological challenges are nothing more than tiny hiccups.
Specifically, companies need to look out for the following 5 challenges:
1. Licensing issues
By the laws of the IT world, licensing is necessary for using applications in accordance with any legal and industry-specific regulations. In business, applications are vital components of IT infrastructures as they engage employees and allow them to carry out their work. But during an M&A, when several companies are attempting to join forces, business leaders are left with combining different IT environments into one.
No IT infrastructure is the same as another. Consequently, we need to consider what IT solutions (and their licences) are necessary moving forward and which ones we can let go of. Without a clear IT strategy informing us of what software we need, the entire M&A process can be made more expensive and take longer than the market demands.
Let’s keep this simple: to prevent themselves from drowning under a confusing wave of licences and applications, businesses need to assess their old and new work environments, hold onto the IT solutions that they know will bring value to the employee experience, and optimise them for cost savings and heightened functionality post M&A.
2. Equipment integration
Hardware and software are like meat and pies. They work well together, and to keep our software programs running, we need robust hardware. Even though integrating hardware during mergers and acquisitions may sound like a walk in the park, it can be anything but. Improper integration can make a positive employee experience undergo a complete 180, an outcome that can bleed into the customer experience and negatively impact our companies’ reputations.
Luckily, with a plan and precision, developing a standardised IT infrastructure is not as daunting as our nightmares make it seem. We need to be able to visualise what we want our systems to look like and how they will run.
Outside of effective IT infrastructure management, it can also be a good idea to invest in digital transformation consultants that have an eye for business and IT. These types of consultants are more intuitive than Hercule Poirot and can point out incompatibilities with hardware and software before they severely impact the M&A.
3. Employee engagement and hopes
We can all agree that the core purpose of mergers and acquisitions is to transform our organisations into institutions that leverage new solutions, procedures, and service offerings. But at the same time, we ought to focus on our employees and how they feel about the transition. During M&As, job retention is “the primary concern of most employees”, and when IT infrastructures are overhauled, it can be a shock to everyone’s system (pun unintended).
We need to manage people’s expectations and be open about the role of IT solutions during and after the M&A. By being upfront about our IT objectives and methods, we can offer our team members peace of mind knowing that new technologies will be there to support the employee experience, making them more eager to adopt IT solutions and learn how to use them effectively.
4. Limited view of IT infrastructure
We’re always taught that we need to assess the depth of a river before we jump into it. That same philosophy extends to our IT environment during mergers and acquisitions. If we can’t see the entirety of our business’s IT landscape, we won’t be able to effectively combine technological infrastructures.
Information informs our decisions. So to prevent us from relying on guesswork, we need to take the time to assess all the IT environments involved with the M&A and have solutions in place that can monitor them throughout the transition. If we consistently fill in any gaps in our visibility, our M&As will result in stronger IT infrastructures.
5. Cyber security
Even if the cyber security solutions two organisations leverage come from the same vendor, the specific configurations they use are likely to be different. In other words, companies’ cyber security and compliance strategies/standards are not twins of each other. And without them, cyber threats can target companies, ruin M&As, and impact customer satisfaction.
We need to consider the cyber security threats that come with M&As and what they mean for the IT infrastructures involved with our deals. If we know what to expect, we can factor this into our security strategies, providing us with the knowledge of how to respond to issues as they appear. And what does this mean? It means that we can overcome cyber security challenges with standardised security and compliance measures – a win-win for everyone!
M&A and IT performance management with Atarix
M&As are moments that matter for organisations. With planning and a secure rollout, they can reward businesses with greater scalability, agility, and IT collaboration. At Atarix, our IT and M&A specialists are experts in consolidating technology environments and securing them for immediate use.
If you’ve got an M&A coming up (or are in the midst of one), contact our team today for the expertise and support you’ve been waiting for.