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March 14, 2024

Top considerations for a mergers-and-acquisitions tech integration

If mergers and acquisitions are a part of your growth strategy, it pays to be prepared. Consider these points during an M&A technology integration.

There has been a renewed focus on streamlining the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) process, especially from a technology standpoint. An M&A is one of the most challenging processes an organization—the acquirer or the acquired—can undergo. Moreover, according to a Forbes article, about 15% of M&As in 2021 didn’t make it past the finish line, being abandoned at some point in the process. This happens for a variety of reasons, including lack of trust, differences in valuation, poor cultural fit and a lack of communication.

That said, it is possible for businesses looking to grow through mergers and acquisitions to do so in a way that is both successful and repeatable. Having a well-defined M&A strategy—one that is repeatable, can be easily adapted depending on the circumstances, and that considers best practices-- can help ensure a mutually beneficial merger or acquisition.

Important considerations for M&A technology integration

Having assisted in the successful technology integration for numerous clients undergoing a merger or acquisition, Cognizant’s Workday practice has a deep understanding of the process. Here are a few of the top considerations for an M&A technology integration:

  • Identify which tenant will become the system of record. For an acquisition, this will often be the acquirer’s system, but not always. Should the acquired company be further along on its transformation journey, it may make sense to utilize its system. Similarly, if two organizations are merging, then it typically makes sense to utilize the tenant of the organization further along in its digital transformation.

  • Determine organizational alignment and data harmonization strategies. How will you ensure both parties have a clear understanding of what will change? Will the acquired organization’s structure be integrated into the acquiring organization’s existing structure? Will you be adding the acquired structure to the existing structure? Will the acquired company move to the acquiring company data structure and nomenclature, or will there be parallel data requirements?

  • Consider your current technology roadmap and determine how will it be impacted. No matter what, a merger or acquisition will require IT resources; determining the magnitude of resources required will help you ascertain the impact to your technology roadmap. Once you have determined which will be the system of record as well as the overall scale of the technology integration, you can determine just how it will impact your existing roadmap.

  • Consider how this will impact data security and what steps need to be taken. There are many opportunities for critical information to be leaked during a technology integration. It is also imperative to keep in mind that organizations can’t just worry about external threats. For example, system permissions need to be carefully considered before an integration takes place to ensure that employees aren’t given access to critical company information that they normally would not be able to access. This could create the opportunity for a disgruntled employee to then leak that information.

  • Research data availability and accuracy. Organizations that are operating with older legacy systems may have trouble pulling certain data. Data hygiene will also be a concern. Newer solutions, such as a cloud-based ERP system, will make it easier to pull data from and will generally provide more accurate data.

  • Determine the new reporting and analytics needs. Will it be as simple as one company adopting the same reporting as the other, or will the larger, combined organization require more robust reporting? You will also need to determine whether the current technology for both organizations will support these new reporting needs.

  • Look at this change from an employee experience perspective. Critical to the success of any merger or acquisition is employee buy-in. Creating as seamless an experience as possible from a technology standpoint helps minimize productivity loss and ensure that critical employees don’t grow frustrated with the M&A process.

  • Review process efficiencies and determine areas of improvement. Are new technologies that can further improve efficiency going to be made available? A mergers and acquisitions technology integration is a good opportunity to look at the internal workflows of both organizations and determine if there are ways to improve upon them.

  • Determine what the cutover plan looks like. Have all dependencies been accounted for? How will this plan be communicated to workers? What contingencies are in place should something go wrong?

If you are undergoing a merger or acquisition and plan on switching one or both organizations to Workday, then Cognizant’s Workday practice can help ensure a smooth deployment. We provide mergers and acquisitions ERP consulting services for both medium and large global enterprises.

Cognizant Workday Practice
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