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7 Tips for Successful Tech Integration During M&A

Technology integration during M&A is one of the key factors used to determine deal success. But today’s business landscape demands that it be done more quickly and strategically than ever before, placing high pressure on IT teams and M&A leaders to plan and execute effectively.

It can be a daunting task for most internal IT leaders and teams. Even seasoned professionals may be experiencing the M&A process for the first time, and the unique challenges that exist around technology integration during a merger or acquisition can be complex.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how to navigate those challenges successfully and explore how an expert service provider can help you get the tech integration process right the first time.

Quick Takeaways

  • Technology is now the primary driver behind most M&A deals.
  • Tech integration teams can get ahead by starting the analysis process as soon as possible after a deal is announced.
  • Dependency Analysis identifies source/target company technology integration interfaces, licensing requirements, and support gaps for successful TSA plans.
  • Detailed execution plans enable greater implementation success, easier monitoring, and better problem resolution along the way.
  • Technology integration during M&A is a timely opportunity to modernize and optimize in other ways—for example, by migrating systems to the cloud.
  • Third-party expert service providers can help you build and execute your integration plan with confidence and avoid common pitfalls.

Technology Integration During M&A: The Challenge

Merging organizations has never been an easy undertaking for those going through the process. Today, with technology systems such a foundational part of the way companies operate and serve customers, it can be even more complicated.

Timely demands to move systems to the cloud, optimize data management, operate remote or hybrid work environments, and modernize entire technology infrastructures add another layer of complexity to M&A tech integration as well, requiring integration and modernization to happen simultaneously.

From the standpoint of the organizations being merged, technology integration can be either the key to unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation, or the barrier that prevents it from happening. For private equity firms and other investment stakeholders, it’s an important driver of M&A profitability.

In other words: When technology integration is executed well during M&A, everybody wins.


7 Tips for Successful Technology Integration During M&A

Build a Team and Start Planning ASAP

Proactive planning is essential for successful technology integration during M&A, and it doesn’t have to wait until the deal is done. After the merger or acquisition is announced—especially when technology is the main driver behind it—it’s important to build a solid team to lead the IT integration.

Things that can be done before a deal is complete include:

  • Outlining tech integration objectives
  • Auditing the business value of technologies within the activity
  • Partnering\Pairing business and technology integration SME’s
  • Setting timelines and budgets
  • Identifying potential roadblocks and challenges
  • Educating stakeholders

By initiating the planning process ahead of time, your integration team can hit the ground running once the deal is finalized, and important stakeholder groups like employees and investors will be ready for the change brought on by new technology systems and workflows.

Assess the Current IT Landscape

Before embarking on any integration efforts, it's crucial to perform a comprehensive assessment of the current IT landscape in both organizations. This includes existing systems, applications, infrastructures, and data repositories. By gaining a holistic view of the technology environments, the integration team can better understand compatibility issues and devise strategies to integrate systems effectively.

Application and server dependency mapping is also critical for making the right decisions about where application groups should live and the type of integrations they use. Dependencies should be analyzed and documented in detail, down to IP addresses and ports of the server services. This helps eliminate architectural latency or geography-based mistakes.

In many cases, this step is even more important than the actual condensing of products and cost savings during M&A transformation, ensuring the integration process aligns with strategic goals and operational requirements, and facilitating a smooth transition and minimizing disruption to ongoing operations. 

Identify Modernization and Optimization Opportunities

Amidst all the complexity of integrating technology systems is a prime opportunity to modernize and optimize. Consider how you can do that throughout the integration process. Potential ways to do it are:

  • Modernize legacy systems and applications
  • Migrate systems to the cloud
  • Eliminate redundancies or unneeded assets
  • Streamline digital workflows
  • Optimize governance and compliance policies
  • Train and educate employees

By leveraging a process that requires change and adjustment already to further optimize and ready your IT environments for the future, you maximize ROI on your efforts and prevent having to undergo multiple initiatives to digitally transform. 

Think About People, Too

While technology is a critical focus, don't underestimate the impact on people. Employees from both organizations may experience anxiety and uncertainty during the M&A process, often specifically related to technology and process changes.

Communication and change management strategies are pivotal. Engage with employees transparently on a regular cadence throughout the program, explaining the benefits of the merger, the projected impact on their roles, along with scheduled changes and clear expectations. A human-centric approach fosters a sense of unity and minimizes cultural challenges.

Build a Detailed Roadmap and Program for Execution

With a clear understanding of the technology landscapes and the overarching goals of the integration, develop a detailed roadmap for execution. Your program should outline the step-by-step projects you’ll use to integrate systems, applications, and processes.

Assign clear responsibilities, set milestones, and establish KPIs to track progress. A well-structured roadmap serves as your guidepost, ensuring alignment and accountability throughout the integration journey and helping you identify and resolve issues more quickly when they arise.

Program level management is required for effective roadmap execution and TSA governance. Look for a tenured and mature partner that has a proven track record of successful M&A project execution and communications.

Monitor and Adjust

Flexibility is essential during technology integration. As the process unfolds, continuously monitor execution against your established roadmap. This vigilance enables early detection of any deviations or challenges, allowing for timely adjustments.

Regular check-ins with the integration team and stakeholders facilitate real-time problem-solving and the implementation of agile mitigation strategies.

Continue to Optimize Post Go-Live

Even after the integration is deemed successful and systems are live, the work isn't over. Post-integration optimization is a crucial phase. Monitor the performance of integrated systems, gather user feedback, and address any lingering issues. This iterative process ensures that your merged technology ecosystem remains aligned with business objectives and continues to deliver value over the long term.


How an Expert Partner Can Help

Navigating the complexities of technology integration during M&A can be daunting, and most internal IT teams simply don’t have the bandwidth, experience, and expertise to do it alone. That’s why many turn to external IT support partners to help them execute.

For enterprises integrating their already-complex and expansive systems with outside components, it is essential to have experts on board who can guide you with sharpened framework and process.

For nearly three decades, Protera has worked with leading organizations across industries to optimize, modernize, and successfully integrate systems during M&A and other periods of transformation. Our services include:

  • Program\Project Leadership
  • Detailed Systems Dependency Analysis
  • Migration and Modernization Services for
    • SAP and Enterprise Workloads
    • Cloud (Azure\AWS\GCP)
    • Network
  • IT Security and Governance
  • Data Intelligence
  • Cloud Managed Services
  • Application Managed Services

To learn more about how we can help your organization transform, talk to a Protera expert today.