Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are typically disruptive even with the best planning and preparation. Bringing a new company into your IT system and infrastructure, merging processes, or adopting a new architecture is complex and requires a well-designed strategic plan to minimize this disruption.

A post M&A IT integration plan can help assure success.

Preparing for M&A IT Integration

Getting ready for M&A IT integration requires making several key decisions about your:

  • Integration team: You will want representation on your integration team across departments, including key stakeholders from IT, HR, legal, finance, and company leadership.
  • Project scope: Establish the scope of work to be undertaken and company expectations and goals.
  • Decision-making: There are crucial decisions that will have to be made throughout the project. Establish who has decision-making authority upfront and who has to sign off.
  • Risk management: Similar to decision-making, someone must be in charge of risk assessment and mitigation throughout the process.

With the foundation laid, you can start working through your post M&A integration checklist.

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M&A IT Integration Checklist

You will be evaluating and consolidating disparate systems, tools, and tech from your acquisition or merger, so a structured approach is necessary to work efficiently and make sure you don’t miss key items. This 9-step process can help.

Step 1: Business Evaluation

The first step will be to assess what both entities currently have in place. Review workflow, models, and business processes in alignment with the goals of the new company structure. You will need to define roles and responsibilities and consider the impact of changes on employees and operations.

Step 2: IT Infrastructure Evaluation

With business goals in mind, you can begin to evaluate the current tech stack. This includes taking inventory of hardware, software, SaaS platforms, data centers, networks, cloud platforms, and other infrastructure.

It’s a good time to discuss the efficiency and futureproofing of your infrastructure and whether you need to retain, retire, migrate, or modernize your tech stack. For example, moving to Azure Virtual Desktop can streamline and modernize legacy systems.

Step 3: Contracts and Licensing

Step three involves capturing all the pertinent details about your contracts and licensing obligations. While much of this information may already be in your data store as part of your M&A due diligence, it’s important to verify the data and dig into the details.

Determine which contracts will be retained or terminated and whether you can renegotiate or benefit from cost savings through your M&A realignment. You will also want to note whether you need to negotiate new contracts or licenses based on your strategic IT consolidation plan.

Step 4: Data Harmonization

Harmonizing data from multiple sources, often in different databases and formats, can be complex — especially if data still resides in silos. Integrating data from multiple systems requires technical expertise to cleanse, normalize, standardize, and match data, including deduplication and validating data integrity.

Step 5: System Integration

When working through your post M&A integration plan, you will want to map out dependencies between systems. As legacy systems grow over time, often dependencies are not well documented, so you need to take the time to avoid retiring a system that is essential to drive another system or process.

System integration includes identifying and making decisions about which solutions and technology to retire or consolidate, focusing on the new workflows that are required in a unified company.

Step 6: Network Consolidation

Existing networks will have separate network domains. There may be different active directories, DNS naming systems, and structures. Not only do you need to consolidate network hardware, but you will have to standardize your network architecture.

In most cases, this process has to occur with minimal disruption to operations, so careful planning is crucial to avoid downtime.

Step 7: Unified Messaging Solutions

The next step will be to consolidate communications. This includes email systems, calendars, and communication and collaboration tools. Decisions must be made about which systems and solutions will be deployed. Today, most companies are also moving toward unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) solutions to bring together voice, video, and productivity tools into a single platform.

Step 8: Enhanced Security Measures

Your IT acquisition integration checklist will also need to account for network and data security. With your infrastructure defined, you need to make sure you have adequate and consistent security policies, controls, and monitoring.

A security gap analysis can help uncover shortfalls for remediation. Checking your security policies against established cybersecurity frameworks in the new environment can help keep assets protected.

Step 9: Financial Analysis

Last, but by no means least, is the financial analysis that must accompany your post M&A integration plan. You need to forecast expenses and track costs associated with the consolidation. Financial analysis should also identify the potential savings through consolidation and establish a timeline for ROI on any investments you make in the integration process.

M&A IT Integration Simplified for Everyone Involved

Using this IT acquisition integration checklist can help ensure a smooth IT integration after a merger or acquisition for all parties involved to avoid downtime and streamline operations. With robust planning and a structured approach, you can make your consolidation process smoother.

Yorktel is a trusted IT integration and data migration expert and can help you manage your post M&A integration checklist for a seamless transition. Contact the M&A IT experts at Yorktel today.