Regardless of who you ask, the M&A process is a stressful one. No matter how well it’s planned and prepared for, it takes plenty of communication and patience.

Things will be changing on a daily basis, you’ll need to learn an entire company’s worth of new systems and create a transition plan that keeps multiple system running.

This is especially true for IT. Not only do they need to be thinking about the strategic and tactical responsibilities for a smooth transition, they also need to continue with all the day-to-day activities that keep their original company running.

When planning for a M&A, IT leaders need to be aware of these often conflicting roles and plan accordingly.

Balancing Competing Priorities

During the merger and acquisition process, IT is forced to balance conflicting responsibilities. Good communication and technology helps IT service desk managers juggle the many responsibilities and moving parts inherent with this complicated process.

During an M&A, here are some common challenges you’ll want to be prepared for:

  • Inefficiency caused by the inability to access data: Without broad access to the target company’s data, IT can’t see the complete picture. This hampers IT’s ability to take swift action on aligning technology and finding synergies.
  • Confusion resulting from inaccurate data: Having the wrong data can cripple the M&A process. With IT system consolidation, it’s important that only accurate and verified data is transferred.
  • Inability to keep projects and operations on schedule: IT is responsible for “keeping the lights on” and ensuring business operations run as usual. The integration period during a merger and acquisition is no exception. Even though IT resources are likely at full capacity with people working on merger-related tasks, regular operations like accounts payable and accounts receive need to keep running smoothly.
  • Failure to meet business goals: Don’t overlook the long-term business goals associated with the M&A. Everyone on the IT service desk should be business-focused, and that means IT must understand the strategic goals of the deal.

While not all challenges may apply to your specific situation, it’s important that you identify these issues as early as possible. Once you’re aware of these risks, you can proactively work with other members of the merger team to address them.

You’ll also need to work with your company’s IT team to reorganize or reprioritize your normal tasks and responsibilities. The best way to avoid significant issues is to be realistic about you can accomplish. Mergers add a certain amount of uncertainty to the process, you’ll need to be flexible so you can deal with new projects and issues as they occur.

To learn more about how to use IT strategically for your next merger, download our new eBook, “Make Your Next M&A Painless With These IT Strategies.”

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