Can Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure Simplify Mergers and Acquisitions?
Mergers and acquisitions are common in most industries these days. While companies employ many different strategies to integrate newly acquired companies, we’ve found that the companies that leverage Information Technology (IT) as a strategic asset during the M&A process typically enjoy much smoother corporate integrations than those that don’t. We commonly see four IT disciplines used as ingredients for merger success: standards, service levels, tooling, and skills.
- Standards are repeatable approaches to solve specific problems that mergers and acquisitions often bring.
- Service levels are minimum expectations for service turnaround that both sides of the transaction can expect as a result of the acquisition or merger
- Tooling includes the software, hardware and cloud services that are used to accomplish a merger or acquisition
- Skills are the infrastructure, software and data support capabilities that are required by the IT team to successfully merge with or acquire another company.
Traditional on-premises or colocated hardware infrastructure can often be a limiting factor in the success of a merger or acquisition. While this type of IT infrastructure can be standardized and built to meet service levels, the components of the infrastructure, or tooling, may not be sufficient in size and elasticity to meet merger/acquisition needs. Skills required for repeatable integration of systems, applications and data can overwhelm a capable IT team as well.
So, how can IT teams reduce the friction caused by traditional on-prem or colocated hardware during the M&A process?
By moving from a traditional on-premises approach to a fully-managed Enterprise cloud platform BEFORE the initiation of the M&A process. Enterprise cloud infrastructure and related managed services may be IT’s secret weapon in reducing the friction generated by mergers and acquisitions. Enterprise cloud is scalable, elastic IT infrastructure that allows for ingestion of VMware, Windows and Linux legacy systems into a unified platform that IT can actually support. Plus, having a turnkey IT infrastructure solution in place beforehand will make it much easier to scale compute capacity and resources to meet the extra IT demands that can be expected with any type of M&A activity.
How does enterprise cloud help?
- Familiarity – Industry-standard VMware hypervisor running Windows and Linux is familiar and comfortable both for the legacy applications and for the support teams as they transition systems.
- Economics – The best enterprise cloud infrastructures have predictable costs and no variable bandwidth charges, so the incremental costs of mergers and acquisitions can be estimated accurately.
- Service Levels – High-end enterprise cloud infrastructure providers provide 100% service level agreements (SLAs), similar to what most organizations expect IT to deliver.
- API – Modern enterprise cloud providers deliver application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable IT teams to automate repetitive tasks and integrate disparate systems. APIs are tooling that can multiply workforce capabilities through automation.
- Performance – Few organizations can tolerate slower systems as a result of a merger or acquisition. The finest enterprise cloud providers deliver the highest performance and consequently the best user experiences.
- Reduction of tactical workload and skill requirements– Maybe the most important feature of enterprise cloud offerings is the reduction in time needed and skills required to manage the hardware, licensing and utility tools of ever-changing IT infrastructure. The best enterprise cloud providers offload virtually all the hardware and software complexities of production systems and data protection, leaving the IT team free to focus on the people, process and applications involved in the merger.
Enterprise cloud can deliver flexible standards, 100% service levels, consistent, and familiar tooling that reduces the need for low-value skill sets and allows IT teams to focus on organizational needs.
Doug Theis is the Director of Market Strategy in Expedient’s Indianapolis market focused on engaging with and improving the regional IT community through planning, sponsoring and attending community events, facilitating IT-focused continuing education opportunities, and sharing strategies, tactics, and research to help IT professionals stay abreast of best practices and industry trends. Connect with Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.