So you’ve successfully navigated around all the pitfalls of a merger and acquisition (M&A) IT integration from Day Zero to Legal Day One (LD1) and met all transition service agreement (TSA) timelines. Congratulations! You are about to walk into the M&A Promised Land – one company running on one system. It is just over that hill, you can see it. Just a little…bit…farther…
…just need to consolidate this last one directory…and get down to one anti-virus system…and oh yeah, we need to…
Get the picture? Most organizations never make it into the M&A Promised Land and truly realize the benefits and value expected from your IT integration.
In this fifth and final part of the C-Suite Series on M&A, we’ll discuss the costly security and management pitfalls awaiting your IT integration post-LD1 and TSA. Read the full series that explores M&A IT integration from the perspective of the C-Suite:
- Part 1: M&A activity is accelerating: Will your IT integration plan hold it back?
- Part 2: The M&A Costs for Excluding IT from Day Zero Activities
- Part 3: M&A IT Integration Sins Come Home to Roost During Legal Day One
- Part 4: M&A transition service agreements
Day 2 pitfalls: Failing to fix the IT integration workarounds
Like MacGyver, most IT professionals can make something work for the sake of productivity and deadlines with a rubber band and some paper clips – or more likely simple IT workarounds. For instance, by enabling a team to get the data they need in a non-standard way or keeping a key application running by splicing old hardware into an otherwise up-to-date IT shop. These workarounds add complexity and risk, but that might be an acceptable business choice for the short term.
“There’s a law of diminishing returns in M&A IT Integration. The number one goal is to get everyone communicating. Then they tackle directory and workstation migrations. After that they look at servers and applications, and this is where they see diminishing returns. For example, they may have a legacy app that works in the old environment but will not work with the new directory. So they justify leaving the old directory up for the next several years and promise to come back and figure it out.
The problem is that they do not go through this remediation or this migration later on. They figure out how to work with the apps and the servers from the legacy environment. And it creates all these loopholes and back doors.”
Jarrod Roark, Quest, Director of Professional Services
This is exactly what happened in the Equifax data breach, where over 148 million U.S. consumers had their sensitive data exposed. The company had an aggressive acquisition strategy, 18 to be precise, that created an environment full of workarounds and we’ll-get-back-to-that hack jobs. Read more about this breach on page 12 of the e-Book: “C-level guide to M&A IT systems integration”.
Day 2 pitfalls: Reinventing the wheel for ongoing management
Many organizations think of IT integration and ongoing management as two distinct efforts that require different tools. In fact, they sometimes even invest in new tools for each M&A project. But changing up the tool set means a new learning curve and a new set of support agreements — in other words, increased costs and more hurdles that endanger your integration timeline.
Organizations should look for a repeatable software and services framework to help with their M&A IT Integration projects – flexible solutions that can be used for each M&A and in multiple stages of the IT Integration project.
M&As created complex IT environments, full of workarounds and hacked projects you hope to get back to later. This is the nature of IT integration, but the security and cost implications can be minimized with a repeatable software and services framework. Learn more about the costly pitfalls at each stage of IT integration and how to avoid them to achieve maximum cost synergies in this e-book: “C-level guide to M&A IT systems integration”.