Integrating different IT networks from mergers and acquisitions can be challenging as both companies are likely to have developed their own systems and applications to address specific needs. The best IT companies can help create a strategy that will facilitate integration and allow the change in operations to proceed as smoothly as possible.
To ensure that integration is done in a streamlined manner, the IT team handling the project will first categorize applications developed by both parties. These include identifying essential applications for running operations, supporting applications for ancillary business processes, and those that have been developed to address particular business problems. Generally, the integration of essential and supporting applications is prioritized. Applications found to have been rarely used or are now obsolete can be retired.
After categorizing applications, the IT team can plan the stages for integration. For instance, essential applications are integrated in phase one, supporting ones in phase two, and so on.
The next step is to work with the M&A team to investigate how IT integration will change the course of daily operations and impact the merging companies. In view of any possible concerns, the team can create an IT risk assessment document to anticipate and address potential problems.
The IT team can also define a clear set of activities for each phase for effective integration. This involves setting the timeframe for each stage and indicating major risks that may be encountered. Apart from this, they can also prepare templates that team members can use to submit regular reports, as well as deliverables that would allow stakeholders to indicate concerns, issues, and suggestions about the project.
Finally, the IT team can assess the infrastructure of the merged company and assist with the integration of some key tools such as telephone systems, e-mail, and collaboration software. After all, it isn’t just applications that must be considered when two companies are merged. To ensure that both companies will be able to work together smoothly, issues regarding the infrastructure must be addressed.
If the larger company allows the smaller one to continue operating in its own office, IT firms can provide solutions for inter-office connectivity and provide suggestions on how to structure the corporate IT environment. On the other hand, if the smaller company is required to relocate, the IT team can help not just with setting up the new system, but also ensuring that all necessary data is kept safe during the move.
Throughout the project, trusted IT companies can provide additional services that will ensure the success of the integration. For example, they can add security to the merged company’s e-mail system by setting up antivirus programs, firewalls, and data encryption to prevent corporate data from being exposed.
They can also introduce more efficient methods to communicate with clients, such as hosted exchange and client portals. Hosted exchange offers better security and a more flexible storage capacity compared to a typical e-mail service. It also allows employees to efficiently manage messages, calendars, and contacts. Client portals will also allow clients to securely and immediately access the company’s services online, and send and receive documents through their account.