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Five Must-Follow Tips for the IT Department During an Acquisition or Merger

by Josh Biggs in Business on 20th July 2019

Acquiring or merging with another business may be the best decision for your company, but that doesn’t mean it’s a comfortable or easy one. It comes with a lot of challenges and worries, many of which are the IT department’s direct responsibility.

Merging systems can be done, but it’s a long, challenging process that can leave a lot of people in the department, as well as other employees, worried about exactly how it’s all going to unfold. Fortunately, the IT department can do a lot to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible for everyone.

Control Access

The first order of business for the IT department is to control access to important documents. You don’t want people from certain departments to have access to sensitive company information. That’s especially the case if some of the employees in the company are unhappy about acquiring the new one.

Prevent the disastrous consequences that can occur when sensitive financial records and other documents are seen by the wrong eyes by implementing the right software from day one. Choose a quality program that secures and tracks sensitive files so the right people can see the right documents at the right time, and you’ll know exactly who saw what and when.

Consider Compatibility of Governance and Security

There’s a lot of time spent figuring out how the systems being used by each company can work together. It’s easy to see why. You don’t want employees to have to check multiple systems in order to get information that should be contained in just one place!

Just make sure you don’t forget about governance compatibility and security. This is especially important in fields that catalogue important customer, client, and patient data, like the healthcare and insurance industries.

Security remains an important consideration for other businesses as well. Customers care about their data privacy, and mergers can leave holes where this information can be leaked.

Make a plan to check governance and security regularly as you’re merging systems. That way, nothing can fall through the cracks.

Be Open and Transparent

Merging or acquiring another business is often something that’s done quietly and with little fanfare. Many employees are kept in the dark, and it’s just business as usual. That can lead to a lot of confusion and worry, not to mention, it can create unengaged teams.

Instead, be open and transparent about the process. That includes doing things like:

  • Inform every one of the financial state of the business
  • Tell them why the merger is a good move
  • Share how it will affect their position
  • Show what the future of the company looks like

That doesn’t mean you have to disclose sensitive information or exact numbers, but it does mean you should be willing to answer questions, even if that means being transparent about why you may not be able to answer their question directly!

Think About Your Customers and Investors

Your customers make your business go round, and yet, they often get forgotten about when a merger comes along. Combing companies can be great for customers, but it can also cause a lot of anxiety.

It’s not just customers who have irons in the fire, so to speak. So do investors! Make sure your systems process includes ways to deal with people matters. That means focusing on ways to make things better for the HR department and customer service in tandem with the other technical aspects of updating and merging systems.

Create a Plan for Failure

It’s not usually a good idea to catastrophize. It just means you waste your time on something that might not happen, but when it comes to merging IT systems between two companies, there’s no such thing as spending too much time planning for the what-ifs.

When it comes to matters of IT, it’s extremely important to plan for the worst case scenario. That includes the possibility of sabotage from a disgruntled employee who is unhappy with the merger, as well as disaster recovery plans if the whole thing crashes in the middle of merging systems.

Having these plans in place will bring you peace of mind, it will bring the company peace of mind, and it will ensure you can get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

There are a lot of aspects of a merger or acquisition that can cause stress, but few cause as much stress as dealing with each company’s IT systems. Make the process easier on yourself and everyone else by following these tips.

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