Mergers and acquisitions are hard on small businesses. Your company may be bringing in a new partner to boost your products and services, hoping that two merged companies would perform better than just one, or perhaps your firm is the missing component in a corporation’s master plan.
When two enterprises become one, working out the laundry list of details that must be addressed can be a challenge for everyone involved. There are major and minor obstacles to consider, from how the workplace culture could be affected to changes in leadership.
One of the most stressful parts of a merger is integrating two IT departments, as it is a complex and difficult process. Ideally, business executives and chief information officers (CIO) will resolve potential issues before they arise so there is a plan for guaranteeing a smooth transition and a system to quickly work out the kinks.
Complete Technology can help work through the steps in order to facilitate a seamless and successful IT merger.
Be aware of your company’s present standing
Before the merge, someone on your team must analyze the current situations of both enterprises. Go over the platforms, customized programs, network systems, hardware, and software that each firm uses.
Rank each system and solution based on whether it's mission critical, nice to have but not essential, and even those that you can do away with entirely after the transition. Separating the systems and information as either necessary or unnecessary will lead to a smoother integration.
Produce a comprehensive guide
If you don't have a CIO, someone needs to be tasked with managing your IT Support team and creating a detailed guide and timeline for the merger. The guide must explain things like plans for worst-case scenarios and future projects that your new corporation will undertake.
Whether you have a full-scale IT team or just one or two technicians, a transition guide will help everyone focus on the most important aspects of integration, such as what can be consolidated and what must be kept separate. Don’t force the incorporation, but allow it to form gradually and in a natural manner.
Consider your staff
The sad reality is that some mergers result in layoffs. Significant growth may actually create efficiencies that allow you to do more with less. For example, you could reduce the number of the in-house IT technicians you have, and partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) for unlimited 24x7 support. A few in-house technicians can handle the most important systems and tools, while the MSP can handle things that can be supported remotely, like cloud solutions and VoIP phones.
If your business is working with the help of a managed IT services provider, they will most likely advise you to keep key IT staff who take care of mission-critical groups like backend office systems, collaboration tools, and customer management programs.
After you've settled on what the IT department will look like post-merger, the team can coalesce around shared goals, like eliminating downtime, boosting company productivity, and keeping costs low.
Check your network’s security and stability
If your firm is the one acquiring another company, make sure that your infrastructure can securely handle the data that will enter your network. Data accumulation or aggregation issues may increase the risk level, needing extra information.
Data must be archived before the transfer, and security marks like classification labels or asset tags should be utilized during the move so the equipment and sensitive information will be managed properly. System configuration records should be updated prior to the merger to make post-transfer audits easier.
Can your business afford to fail following a merger?
A well-oiled IT department is a crucial component of any business, particularly one acquiring and merging with other organizations. It is the responsibility of the top executives and technology leaders to determine the best course of action in these situations to ensure success.
Kansas City’s Complete Technology understands that combining IT and best business practices is the key to achieving your business goals. Contact us today for an in-house consultation to help you focus on your corporation, and not IT distractions.