Navigating Tech After a Company Merger or Acquisition: A Must-Do Checklist
So, your company is acquiring another company – congratulations! Likely, your C-suite, accountants and legal team have been involved up to this point. But what about your IT leadership?
Ideally, you became aware of the target business’s technology infrastructure and capabilities during the due diligence period. You may even have paid more if the business had a low IT risk and solid infrastructure, because these can equate to a higher valuation.
Regardless of what your IT leadership did or didn’t discover prior to the acquisition, now is the time to get your IT house in order. Here’s a must-do checklist for navigating tech after a merger or acquisition.
IT leadership should thoroughly assess the entire technology landscape at both businesses. Because cybercrime is so prevalent – and expensive to recover from – pay special attention to technology risk management. Top-notch cybersecurity across the entire new enterprise will help protect the organization, its employees and its customers.
Then, consider which business has the strongest IT infrastructure. Don’t assume that the business doing the acquiring has the better system. You may find that the acquired business has better networks, hardware, software, vendors and/or IT policies and procedures.
When looking at both businesses, IT leadership should also identify any gaps and weak links. If new devices, upgraded systems or refreshed policies are needed, now is the time to plan for them.
Your IT leadership team or managed service provider (MSP) can lead the charge to audit and assess the technology needs of your newly expanded organization. They can suggest the best IT setup that aligns with the future direction and IT goals of the organization as a whole.
After IT infrastructures are assessed and a plan to meet all needs is in place, it’s time to get both businesses on the same page.
It’s important to integrate all IT systems, software, services, vendors and policies across the new enterprise. This will help ensure consistency, coverage, support and security throughout both businesses as they merge into one and move forward.
Managing this potentially complicated process can be tricky, labor-intensive and time-consuming. Lean on your IT leadership team or an experienced MSP to guide the IT integration process. A comprehensive, phased approach with strong project management will successfully tackle short-term and long-term needs.
When integrations and changes to the IT infrastructure impact employees, communication is essential. This means educating and supporting staff prior to, during and after making technology changes that affect them.
This is especially important because human error is a major cause of cyberattacks on businesses. In addition, staff who don’t know how to access their files or use their new software cause a reduction in productivity and, potentially, revenue.
Strong IT leadership guiding the rollout and education process to staff after a merger is key. Know which employees are impacted and exactly how. Then, make a plan to prepare and train them, and have IT support available when needed.
After integration is complete, evaluate the new enterprise’s IT system. Focus on how well it’s achieving cybersecurity, productivity, cost-efficiency and user compliance goals. Then, adjust any of the above steps as needed.
There are likely hundreds – if not thousands – of items on a full IT project list following a merger or acquisition. But, following even this basic must-do checklist to start will allow IT leadership to put a new enterprise on a good path for moving into the future.
Need help navigating tech after a merger or acquisition? Contact us today for a consultation.