The Importance of Planning for IT Integration for Mergers and Acquisitions

Blog /The Importance of Planning for IT Integration for Mergers and Acquisitions
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Over the past 18 months, NTT DATA has successfully concluded a massive integration of Dell Services. To say the integration exercise was complex, would surely be an understatement. Picture this: The $3.1 billion acquisition entailed expanding our operations from 10 to 40 countries and involved integration of more than 1,000 applications, and 200 IT projects; 23,000 laptops and desktops; 37,000 email boxes and 6,500 mobile devices; 54 facilities and 1,600 data circuits; and 9 data centers. Moreover, what’s staggering to note is that we were able to finish this dash four months ahead of our plan and under budget.

You can read more about the integration in CIO.com’s article, Inside NTT DATA-Dell Services’ Massive Technical Integration. In the article, NTT DATA Services CIO Barry Shurkey relates an inside look at how everything was accomplished to CIO Senior Writer Clint Boulton, and recounts the challenges his team overcame, and the lessons learned throughout the integration process. Through the acquisition of the former Dell Services we gained greater insight into how IT integration is one of the most important aspects of mergers and acquisitions.

You can also discover how to turn the complicated into the completed on our webpage: Simplify Your M&A.

Keep IT front and center

Today, IT is so pervasive that integration of systems plays an increasingly larger role the successful combining or spinoffs of companies. IT is so deeply aligned to every aspect of an organization — including functional, operational, managerial, marketing, R&D, financial and human resources — that no merger can happen without keeping the IT needs of all the stakeholders at the forefront. For example, even a small change in the keyword combination to achieve a small task can throw an organization off-balance, introduction of new software and methodologies to one company acquired in a merger can drastically reduce productivity or cause bottlenecks to existing processes. It is very important to reach out to all the stakeholders, pay close attention to their concerns, and arrive at a consensus that is acceptable to maximum number of people. An IT integration consulting can help you achieve that.

Crucial considerations during IT integration include:

  • Ensuring that business operations are not negatively impacted during the integration.
  • Combining the best and the most adaptable IT resources, and creating a technology. environment accommodating the maximum number of employees on all sides.
  • Orchestrating on-going IT support to take care of existing and new conflicts of interest, and cover integration possibilities where none exist.
  • Training the workforce transition into the new IT environment without overwhelming them with change.

Seamless IT integration during and after the merger also calls for on-going communication with the leaders and management of organizations. Since they are responsible for the smooth functioning of the workforce, they are in a better position to lead their respective teams with change and keep them motivated, focused and open to new learning.

Define an integration strategy

Create an integration strategy that aligns your approach with larger objectives and goals of both the organizations. Every organization uses IT for operational efficiency, but if all the IT components from both the companies are not synergized, it can derail M&A efforts.

Here are three approaches that you should consider:

  • Best-of-breed software: For example, both companies must determine which is the best supply chain management software being used by both companies. Should the software be integrated or should the best among both be implemented across the board?
  • The best IT system prevailing over the other: Instead of evaluating individual IT components, the entire set of IT infrastructure (primarily software) can be adopted by both companies, overlaying it with necessary customization.
  • Build everything from scratch: Although an expensive and time-consuming undertaking, if it is impossible or counter-productive to combine both the existing IT systems, it is preferable to build everything from scratch taking into consideration the needs of all stakeholders.

Be inclusive and develop a training schedule

Although all the stakeholders, including management and IT leaders, collectively work for the growth of the organization, on a day-to-day basis they are responsible for their individual performance and hence, may not be able to empathize with the issues faced by other teams due to lack of communication. It is necessary that the overall implications of a robust IT integration process are understood by all sides. In the event of new software applications or introduction of software applications from the other company, make sure that the teams go through training of the new IT setup. Some of the greatest integration challenges can be met with timely training.

IT planning is not only critical, but also helps to create a strategic and robust roadmap that brings together the new and various needs of all the departments and business functions while being aligned to M&A and business objectives.

Download our recent whitepaper to learn more about the entire process of IT integration during acquisitions and mergers, and what sort of qualified services are available to help you achieve success.

Post Date: 11/6/2018

Anu Mehta NTT DATA Services Anubhai Mehta

About the author

With 20 years of experience, Anu has worked with clients on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures (people, process and technology) and led internal IT organizations’ acquisitions and transformations. Anu currently leads a dynamic, global team of more than 600 consulting professionals who create lasting value for clients through the practical implementation of innovative IT services and solutions. 

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