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IT Challenges in M&A

For many companies, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) drive inorganic growth, enabling them to create new income streams and expand. They also help organisations join new markets, or become stronger in the existing market they are part of.

The decision to merge with another company or acquire a new branch often comes easy, but the follow up to that decision brings many difficulties. This is ever so true when we talk about technology.

Acquiring a smaller company can be straightforward and deliver many benefits, such as faster route to market and larger flexibility. However, these companies often make the mistake of not facing the technology challenges associated with a merger early enough, and the result can be less organised and not so efficient (or secure) technology.

During an M&A, it is very important to focus on integrating systems, databases and acquisitions, and to consider how this would happen in advance.

Allowing companies to become fully integrated and in sync with their processes and procedures without misalignment is as important as the purchasing of a new company itself. And it is the most complicated part.

So, what are the key IT challenges faced by companies when they merge with or acquire another?



It is highly likely that the two separate companies have their own systems, processes and procedures in place, which can be difficult to integrate from a technological perspective. This can slow down the operational timeline considerably, and so it is important you are thinking about this from the very beginning, in order to synchronise and standardise at the earliest possible time.



A key issue in terms of IT challenges faced when a company merges with or acquires another is timing. It is important to get the ball rolling early. In fact, if you determine that integrating your IT is impossible, it is advisable that you do not progress with a merger at all, so this should be one of the very earliest things you are thinking about. Do your due diligence. Almost every industry today is reliant on digital in some capacity.

Treat the IT consolidation as a key element to an M&A, and the process and integration will benefit.



Issues here are different depending on whether the company being acquired is bigger or smaller than the buying company. Policies and documentation when it comes to IT need to be streamlined, and it is likely you will choose one company’s preferred way of doing things and integrate these into the other.

If the company acquiring is larger than the acquired and is heavily regulated in terms of IT compliance, the acquired company may have to pick up speed in order to comply quickly.



Customer information may be duplicated if both parties are operating in the same industry. However, they may lack visibility, and this can cause issues in terms of business development and sales.

Obtaining a single point view of customer data is important. This can be done through a data integration system that brings everything together, organising this information for you. This will save you hours and hours of staff time.



Security can be a great challenge and very stressful, especially if the company you are acquiring does not have policies, processes and solutions.

The acquiring company may need to help with the planning and implementation of an approach for protection, and they’ll need to do this quickly. Security is a very important issue.


How to integrate IT

This isn’t just about getting your systems to work, it’s about whether or not they will work in the first place, and encouraging your staff to do all they can to help them to work.

You should have a dedicated leader for this project, and they should be given a head start. This is easier said than done, but do not underestimate the importance of IT, and how complicated and crucial these integrations are.

M&As require the coming together of all relevant partners with the same values, goals and objectives. While IT departments are usually restricted to due diligence and smooth integrations, this type of approach limits the broader role your IT team can play in your merger. Given the chance, they might find a whole new way of doing things that benefits everyone.


Engaging with experience

Bringing an experienced firm on board can increase the success of the operation ten fold. Working alongside people with experience in migrations, integrations and consolidations will totally transform the process. It will mean you can focus on business as usual, whilst a professional focuses on how to integrate your companies successfully, not just from an IT perspective, but from a staffing and processes perspective, too.


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