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The steps for a successful M&A

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So you’ve started a merger or acquisition process. Your most important considerations at this point are to wrap the process up smoothly, pre-empt any risks and ensure you get the most value out of the business. We spoke with Enfo’s specialist Peter McIntosh about how to make your merger and acquisition journey a success.

“The most typical pain point clients face is the reality of the IT environment in the acquired business not meeting expectations,” says Peter McIntosh, Enfo’s UK-based business development director with a background in managing mergers and acquisitions. “Having the right IT operating model in place to support the M&A process is crucial if you want to optimize its value.”

To make sure you aren’t in for nasty surprises later on, your first port of call is to check the organization’s M&A strategy aligns with the overall IT strategy and business plan to create an environment for effortless integration.

Know where you are headed

The temptation to skip due diligence is real but might come back to bite you. “You cannot overestimate the importance of proper due diligence for the success of the project,” Peter says. “The moment you buy another company, you become liable for any risk, whether licence non-compliance, out of date infrastructure, out of support applications or data management issues that breach GDPR compliance.” 

But due diligence is not just about defining risks; it’s also about establishing the value that IT brings within the target organisation. You’ll want to be safe in the knowledge you are making informed decisions and aren’t buying blind, Peter points out. Due diligence will also report the costs of completing the integration to the business, so it’s important that IT is budgeted accurately. After all, IT integration costs can be one of the biggest faced by the business.

You cannot overestimate the importance of proper due diligence.

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Peter McIntosh

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Business development director

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Not just tech

Once you’ve got a deal, the speed at which the businesses integrate can significantly impact the value of the acquisition. Often the business integration is slowed down because IT can’t integrate quickly enough. “Flexibility is a huge advantage here. Have the right services available to deal with business requirements,” Peter advises. 

Don’t forget it’s not all about the technology either. Focus on managing change and communicating well with all stakeholders throughout the project. 

Ready to transform?

Having a trusted partner to guide you through the entire M&A process can save you a lot of time, cost and stress. After all, mergers and acquisitions aren’t just simple migrations, but also business transformations that IT must be prepared to support. In the worst case, you’ll end up with a business unable to function as one, with high costs and low efficiency.

“For most companies, mergers and acquisitions aren’t just another day at the office. It’s hard to build a functioning process for something you might only ever do once,” Peter empathizes. He works as part of Team Evolve at Enfo, which has migrated tens of thousands of users during more than 20 M&A projects. In addition to a wealth of experience, the breadth of Enfo’s offering comes in handy. 

“We are an IT specialist, which translates to being able to cover the M&A process from end-to-end. All business units contribute, from our network team to workplace services and application services,” Peter explains. “Running a functioning business today is relying heavily on IT processes and services. For a successful M&A, invest in full support from IT,” he concludes. 

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