5 Tips to Avoid IT Headaches During a Merger or Acquisition

by Jenn Cano on June 1, 2012

With the economy slowly on the rise, investors are regaining confidence and global mergers and acquisitions have begun to materialize once again.  With this growth IT departments play an increasingly larger role as technology has become the heart of most organizations and it touches virtually all aspects of a company’s operations.  Many of these functions are mission-critical requiring much of an IT department during the merger/acquisition process.

During a merger the IT department is tasked with three competing priorities – keeping business running as usual, combine two separate IT departments operating systems/hardware into one, and finally provide support for other business functions such as finance or operations.  While this is a lot to ask of an IT department and can definitely be a delicate balancing act, there are a few tips you should consider if you’ve found yourself in the midst of a merger or acquisition.

Tip 1 – Communication

It is imperative to communicate openly with management during discussions about the merger.  You should be present during the initial discussions concerning the ramifications of a merger.  Communicating openly with management will allow you to be aware of any changes that may come about to core business objectives.  This will allow you to be prepared to support those objectives. 

Tip 2 – Requirements

During the due diligence stage of the merger/acquisition it’s important to understand all the technological requirements created by the merger.  It’s crucial to understand the IT resources on both sides of the merger and develop a plan of how to integrate the two as seamlessly as possible.  There are some important questions to consider while going through this process:

  • Do they have the right sort of systems or are we going to have to invest millions of dollars on these new systems?

  • Do they have the right sort of people looking after their technology or are we dependent on those people?

  • Are the systems we are acquiring reliable or are we going to need ITAD services to get rid of them? Or in other words, are they up and working properly and efficiently, or are they failing every Wednesday afternoon?

  • What happens when there is a problem or disaster, what kind of precautions has the company we’re buying put into place to deal with these situations?

Tip 3 – Hardware / Systems Analysis

A complete and thorough understanding / inventory of the systems you are going to acquire must be done.  This will allow you to determine which systems you will ultimately end up using to run IT operations post merger.  Determine if it will be necessary to move systems from one location to another during the merger.  It may be necessary for you to invest in a data center relocation service to assist with the move.   Determine if you are buying a rat’s nest of confusing systems, or are you buying something to which you can hook your systems into easily.

Tip 4 – Prioritize

More than likely IT resources will be stretched thin during the merger process.  Prioritizing and creating a systematic approach will ensure that resources get deployed in the most effective way.  Consider the business impact, ease of implementation and expected business benefit when considering requirements.

Tip 5 – Create a Road Map

It’s always difficult to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.  Just like any other IT project a merger should have a project plan.  Be sure to include sub-projects, detailed timelines, and contingency plans. 

There’s no doubt that IT plays an ever-increasing role in any business these days.  Implementing a successful merger is possible with proper planning and a lot of open communication.  It’s imperative to prioritize and create a detailed plan when taking on a merger.  Often times, IT resources are already stretched too thin before the merger.  If this is the case consider hiring an outside company to assist you.  You may consider assistance if you find your merger will require a data center relocation or data center consolidation.  Often times, the new systems you acquire will be end-of-life or obsolete for your organization.  There are companies that can help you with IT asset disposition (ITAD) or IT asset recycling

XSi can assist you with all aspects of a data center relocation or consolidation from pre-planning to post-move integration.  XSi also specializes in ITAD services for enterprise-level equipment helping you maximize the value of any old/obsolete equipment determined to be useless to your organization after the merger.

Topics: End-of-Life Hardware, Data Centers, Data Center Relocation, IT Asset Disposition, data center consolidation, Data Center Move, IT Asset recycling

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