M&A activity has been increasing in recent years, reaching a mid-year high in 2014 that hadn't been seen since 2007. In any industry, mergers bring a lot of change - change that creates a new sense of excitement, enthusiasm and improvement, change that is clearly visible and planned for, and changes, challenges and issues that are unexpected, emerge gradually, or even appear somewhere much further down the line but are apparent to have occurred as a result of the M&A process. Or perhaps lack of process!
In a previous White Paper produced by Torque Management, we looked at how M&A models, principles and learnings could be applied not just to future mergers but as a framework for Enterprise-Wide BPM Transformation. We compared the Target Operating Model to an External Acquisition Target and found many crossover points that could be beneficial to those looking at companywide process transformation. While our comparison certainly used the ideal model for a merger or acquisition as the template, we're certain that in a similar respect, an M&A activity could offer you the opportunity for Business Process or IT transformation.
In an article from July 2015, by Janaki Akella, Neha Gargi, and Tushar Mehrotra for McKinsey and Company, the authors noted the importance of the first 100 days of M&As, specifically for IT organisations, but this could equally be applied to IT as a department.
They listed a three tier structure for the approach that included the advice to:
- Streamline and standardise selected end-to-end processes.
- Get a clear view of how information and data are managed.
- Reconsider the organizational structure and operating model.
While this advice sounds like common sense, to quote Voltaire, common sense is not so common. How many of us have been in companies where this wasn't carried out, strategically or otherwise?
In the face of so much change, the first issues to be dealt with are of course those that are visible and very clearly causing an immediate problem. Akella, Gargi and Mehrotra suggest that IT leaders and IT organisations, need to stop for a moment and consider and compare the long-term opportunities and potentially very valuable benefits available from two systems and the different ways of using the same system.
To make the merger a success, a structured and measured approach is needed to develop and communicate the opportunities and the end-goal, to IT leaders and business managers within both companies. This will ensure that they understand there is room and time to think strategically, and it will provide an opportunity to maximise benefits from the merger. If this isn't happening in your organisation, bring it to someone's attention and if company skills aren't set up to put it in place, bring in a consultancy or company that does this professionally. We're certainly biased in our advice, but we've also been there for the rapid rescue projects!