Success in a merger & acquisition operation depends on winning the information battle and, increasingly, the most important information to have on hand is the IT status of everyone involved. Unsurprisingly, this makes the need for an IT assessment during the pre-merger phase a crucial one – in fact, an IT assessment is increasingly expected as part of due diligence in most mergers & acquisitions.

What can this reveal that can boost the chances for post-merger success? A thorough, competent IT assessment is needed in order to gauge IT Assessment for Mergerthe following factors:

Organizational compatibility. Mismatched organizational culture is a major cause of failed mergers & acquisitions, and the barriers to success are particularly formidable when the mismatch is in IT expectations and procedures. Differing attitudes toward risk are extremely difficult to reconcile in the short term. In the long term, bridging the gap can absorb tremendous company resources, this at a critical time when newly merged companies need to establish themselves as not only viable, but profitable.

An in-depth IT assessment in the pre-merger period can reveal significant differences in the corporate cultures, determine varying attitudes toward risk management, and analyze whether these differences can be accommodated, or require undue effort to bring into alignment (if alignment is even possible).

IT health. An IT assessment is obviously crucial to determine the basic IT health of an organization. This will divulge critical issues, such as security and compliance, as well as more subtle factors, such as risk awareness and the need to replace aging technology infrastructure. With technology of such prime importance in today’s marketplace, the need to measure and quantify IT health is acute.

Perhaps most importantly, an IT assessment can appraise whether technology is helping or hindering operations and create recommendations for change to bring IT up to speed, or to exploit IT advantages to seize new opportunities.

Define synergies and redundancies. Mergers & acquisitions are often launched – and subsequently defined as successful or failed – based on their ability to capture and exploit market synergies, and eliminate redundancies. These are viewed as the two avenues toward easy profit: eliminating redundancies moves the needle toward the black in the short term, exploiting synergies creates long term growth and profits.

Too often, those promised synergies turn out to be illusory, and the redundancies prove not to be so redundant after all. A thorough IT assessment is likely to provide some warning in the pre-merger phase that expectations could fall short of reality, giving organizations the opportunity to apply the brakes before it’s too late.Mergers & Acquisitions

As noted, winning the information battle is key to realizing a successful merger or acquisition operation: an IT assessment is just one piece of that puzzle. Increasingly, an IT assessment is part of basic due diligence prior to a merger & acquisition, so the idea of not performing one is becoming outdated. For those few holdouts who tempt fate and refuse to recognize the need for an IT assessment – what’s your excuse?  Click Here to find out more about different strategies on how to successfully perform mergers & acquisitions based on sound IT solutions for the transition.