Mergers and acquisitions (M and A) are often a major step for your company and may involve substantial complications. In many cases, that can mean slowing down your usual business flow, which can decrease overall customer satisfaction. Often, technology serves as a considerable roadblock throughout the merger and acquisition process. Your technology may be old or outdated. It may be difficult to use. It may require extensive training.
Furthermore, you may need to take the considerable data from both companies and combine them so that you can use them more effectively. CIOs, however, may find themselves in the ideal position to streamline the M and A technology integration process. Not only will it make the transition easier, but it may also increase the odds that you will see the ROI you're hoping for from this key investment.
1. Consolidate Technology and Data Where Possible
Technology leaders have to take a close look at both the new organization's systems, data, and processes and their own. When you have multiple types of technology or methods for dealing with challenges across organizations, it can be very difficult to find the data you need when you need it later.
There are several key things you may need to do to prepare for a merger or acquisition.
Start by consolidating your technology and data. Can you use one platform, rather than two? Are there unnecessary redundancies within your own organization? Furthermore, what technology will be redundant once you have the two organizations combined? By consolidating your technology and your data as soon as possible, you help streamline your ability to look up vital information or to create reports and assessments based on the input of both companies.
Part of the consolidation process means standardizing your tech stack. Your employees, no matter which company they originally came from, need to be using the same technology and the same processes to complete their tasks. Make sure you have a standard operating procedure in place.
In addition, make sure that you have standardized technology in place across all businesses and departments. If you keep adding specialized technology as you add new businesses through mergers and acquisitions, you can quickly end up with a complex array of programs that fail to interact well with one another.
Siloed data can interfere with the entire structure and function of your organization. When data is siloed, not only can employees across the company in different departments have trouble accessing it, but also any employees from the new company may have equal problems. It's often all too easy for data to end up siloed during a merger or acquisition. Check ahead of time for data silos to avoid future problems.
2. Adopt Tools That Make It Easy to Integrate With Other Organizations
Take a look at your current tools and strategies to determine whether they will allow you to integrate effectively with the new organization. Ideally, you want to adopt those tools as early in the process as possible. Consider:
- Is it easy to create an integration with your organization's current financial management solution, making it simple to combine financial data?
- Is your human capital management tool easy to adapt? Can you easily integrate new employees across both organizations? Does the software have the bandwidth to handle the increased number of employees coming through your organization?
- What about your CRM? Will it easily consolidate information between organizations, or is it difficult to integrate with?
There are several things you may need to look at when considering whether your current tech stack will make it easy to merge with a new organization. CIOs may need to look closely at their systems from the standpoint of agility. The more agile the technology, the easier the merger or acquisition will be from a technology standpoint.
3. Consider Your Tech Stack From a Usability Perspective
Take a look at how usable your tech stack is, both currently and in the future. There are several questions you may want to ask when dealing with M and A technology integration.
Are your systems easy to learn?
Do you have simple, easy-to-adopt systems, or do you have systems that require a complicated training protocol? Consider what it looks like to onboard new employees. If it takes a considerable amount of time to prepare them to use your system, it may take an equally extensive training period to teach new employees during the merger or acquisition process.
If your system is not easy to learn, what might make it easier? Are you using complex systems that could be simplified or streamlined? Do you have old legacy systems in place that may need to be updated? Take a look at what complications those systems might have and how you can best make them work for your new employees.
Do you have the resources in place to train new employees to use those systems?
When you complete a merger or acquisition, you will need to have tools and resources in place that will allow you to train new employees on how to get the most out of those systems. Ideally, you should have a team in place to train employees. That may also mean:
- Creating training materials that will help walk new employees through how to use those platforms
- Designating specific trainers to help take on those tasks
- Making sure you have time and resources in the schedule for that training period
With the right resources in place, you can often improve your ability to train employees and get them up to speed. You may also need to make sure that the other company has the right resources in place to provide training if needed, especially if you will be using any of their systems or sending any of your team members to work with their departments.
Are You Prepared for Your Merger or Acquisition?
Whether you're currently planning for a merger or acquisition or you know that one may be in your near future, as a CIO, there are several ways you can streamline your M and A technology integration during the merger process. Are you looking for strategies that can help your business?
Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how they can help make that process easier.
More Articles About Mergers and Acquisitions
Top Considerations for a Mergers and Acquisitions Technology Integration