Mergers and acquisitions are complex. So complex, in fact, that up to 90% fail. One of the biggest risks for M&A failure comes during technology integration. At this stage, enterprise security, compliance, and employee productivity can all be irreparably disrupted. IT needs to walk a fine line between staying on schedule and maintaining stability. And to do this, they need to be mindful of the technology challenges involved in mergers and acquisitions, so they can stay out of the line of fire and deliver a smooth transition, keep the business running, all while maintaining a positive digital experience for employees.
To achieve a seamless and successful integration, IT must arm themselves with clear data into the entire distributed environment, with a specific focus on a handful of key risk areas.
Here are the top 5 issues that IT should focus on when integrating technology environments during mergers and acquisitions.
Lack of Visibility
This is the most fundamental of all the challenges that can arise during a technology integration. Without visibility into the entire technology ecosystem, how can IT teams effectively plan, execute, and monitor the integration of multiple IT environments?
Without sufficient visibility, IT teams are effectively making guesses instead of informed decisions throughout an integration. From blending the two tech stacks to making hardware integration decisions, without visibility into performance, usage, and employee experience across both environments, IT risks a failed integration. If your enterprise is embarking on an M&A process, you need the right visibility tools in place to prepare and execute an integration successfully.
Applications & Licensing
When two or more businesses merge, decisions need to be made about unifying their tech stacks and data environments. This process often plays a crucial part in supporting the business goals sought by a merger or acquisition. It is often exceptionally time-consuming and expensive due to the over-provisioning of software licenses and overall poor planning and scheduling. Over- or under-provisioning software licenses can hinder productivity and bloat IT expenses while limiting business output. IT teams need to merge environments in a way that is least disruptive to employee productivity, experience, and the business overall.
Armed with the right tool, IT can get insights into how employees actually use the software applications to which they have access. Only then can you make informed decisions that will set up employees and the business for success, with the right tools and licenses in place, and the best operational and cost efficiencies identified.
Hardware integrations can be equally challenging, despite often being overlooked during the merger and acquisition process. It would be nice to simply migrate the entire new IT environment onto a common platform, but that is not always practical, especially in the short-run.
It takes time to standardize hardware across a large, recently merged enterprise. And all the while, the business must keep running and employees should be able to remain productive. It is then imperative that IT has visibility into the performance of every endpoint. IT teams must be ready to monitor and respond to issues and irregularities from this new hardware landscape without huge spikes in MTTR. Tools that offer real-time telemetry, diagnostics, and remediations can maintain this level of service – and even improve it – but without this, IT is sure to leave employees struggling in silence, and business leaders wondering why productivity is down.
Security & Compliance
Two or more IT environments at the enterprise level are almost guaranteed to have different standards and practices for security and compliance. Bringing those two into alignment is undoubtedly one of the top priorities of IT during a merger or acquisition. But there are risks involved in the process, especially without visibility into employee / user behavior.
Shadow IT, bad data privacy practices, and outdated security protocols all represent a threat to the enterprise. Without visibility, IT is working in the dark, and may miss key vulnerabilities in the system. Bringing the entire environment up to the highest security and compliance standards is vital to the success of mergers and acquisitions, and to do this efficiently, IT must have full, 360-degree visibility to see, diagnose, and fix any issues as they arise.
The last challenge that IT teams, especially IT leaders, need to anticipate when planning for a merger or acquisition is not so much a technological challenge as a human one: managing expectations. Pressure can often be placed on IT teams to integrate disparate environments as quickly as possible. But moving too fast can end up being as costly as moving too slow.
It is important to get the right tools to be able to effectively plan and monitor every aspect of a technology integration from start to finish, or else you will risk burn out across IT teams as well as the larger employee base.
How Nexthink Can Help Overcome Technology Challenges in Mergers & Acquisitions
Nexthink is the leader in Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management with the first holistic, AI-powered cloud-based DEX Platform allowing digital workplace teams to have a single source of truth down to the employee consumption level of applications and tools. We bring unparalleled visibility and analytics across any environment, gathering subjective sentiment-level feedback from employees to enable the creation of the ideal digital workplace experience. We ultimately free IT to progress from reactive problem solving to proactive optimization. Today, Nexthink enables more than 1,100 customers to provide better digital experiences to more than 15 million employees.
So, whether integrating two IT environments or ten, Nexthink gives you the power to carry your merger or acquisition safely and smoothly across the finish line.