Do you really care which ERP vendor will win the post-merger battle for software dominance or which CRM System you will migrate your customer and account information to?
Often these technology / application driven questions overshadow or hinder the more important business questions that drive value in an M&A scenario. While some people are passionate about their technology landscape the more important question is how you provide business with access to critical data and capabilities across company boundaries from day 1 or shortly thereafter.
This data centric approach requires a fundamental rethinking of the traditional application centric IT M&A approach.
Shift from apps to data
As a first step it is critical to identify critical data across data categories including for example customer, sales or supply chain data. Often the importance of different data categories differs between industries and service sectors, however the most important data is always linked to the key value stream of the organization.
As a next step the top data categories and data elements need to be prioritised and restrictions for sharing specific data between companies before or after day 1 are to be considered. Once a clear understanding has been developed on which data and capabilities are critical for the business to deliver targeted post-merger benefits in the form of cost savings and revenue uplift, a data centric interim architecture should be developed that provides cloud based data access across company boundaries. While partially building on existing applications and data repositories it will likely be necessary to build a rapidly deployable cloud solution that will support the sharing of data as early as legally possible. Such interim architecture should be enable business technology capabilities e.g. for 360° customer view, cross sales and account visibility, etc.
Building solid IT M&A capabilities
In today’s business environment continuous acquisitions, merger and divestitures are rather the norm than an exception. Therefore, it is critical to develop integration capabilities that can be re-used for future cases without major adjustments due to changing circumstances. Such data centric IT M&A integration and divestiture capabilities should utilize cloud capabilities for data storage, access, AI, etc. Cloud provider like AWS, Azure and others provide a wide range of relevant services “out-of-the-box”. Complementing such cloud capabilities with standard data access models and operating procedures will enable an M&A platform for sharing of data and data centric collaboration between companies.
It’s time to put data into the centre of IT M&A
To accelerate value realization in an M&A case by providing relevant cross company capabilities a business centric M&A blueprint is critical. Easy while secure access to data and information across company boundaries is today often the biggest obstacle for post-merger operations and customer value delivery.
As IT M&A professionals it will be critical to rethink the way we approach the technology enabled business integration by putting data into the centre of our considerations. Availability of data and cross company collaboration are critical to accelerate the integration process, ensure increased customer satisfaction and deliver efficiency gains & revenue uplift. As such, IT will play a critical role in enabling the business integration while still driving for the “traditional” synergy savings that are resulting from IT process, application and service consolidation and optimization.
Shift your M&A blueprint from an application centric model to a data centric approach today!