M&A: The Six Phases of IT Integration

M&A: The Six Phases of IT Integration

A post-merger IT integration is a significant endeavor. The parent company wants to get up and running as quickly as possible while enabling long-term growth. Interlink offers a six-phase process that is designed to facilitate a smooth transition and streamline business processes across the entire organization. Each phase works to ensure that IT is building the integration between the businesses, limiting impacting on existing cash flow, and is leveraging the cloud where it makes sense. Here are our six phases of IT integration:

Phase 1: Understanding Your Goals

No two acquisitions are alike. We begin the IT integration process by understanding your goals, vision, and timing. We then build a high-level integration plan in collaboration with you. You teach us what success looks like to your organization. 

Phase 2: The Assessment

Phase 2 consists of an assessment of both the parent and acquired entities’ IT environments. This includes categorizing IT assets that create value, identifying which software licenses are transferrable, assessing the knowledge of IT human resources, and starting the identification of any risk factors to the integration process.   

Phase 3: Building Your Infrastructure

Our focus is speed to productivity. We begin building the new IT infrastructure and integrating high-priority systems. This includes Directory Services, a single Global Address List, and preserving acquired entity vanity email domains. That means enabling your users with useful collaboration platforms and standardized onboarding policies and procedures. 

Phase 4: Standardization

Phase 4 focuses on building IT standardization at scale. We address everything: cloud services, collaboration tools, hardware replacements, networking infrastructure, software, procurement and training strategies. We also ensure cost-efficiencies by leveraging buying power through vendor consolidation. Most entities are hesitant to rip and replace technology that is working today. In prioritization, we ensure a cost effective approach. New technology is acquired from a standard list – this helps ensure that new purchases are going to be useful long term.  Then the most synergistic technologies are upgraded, thing like collaboration tools which are to be used across the organization.  Next we would recommend removing products which don’t fit the organizations goals, i.e. small office firewall gear which is insufficient to protect a larger entity with more intellectual property.      

Phase 5: Building Your Shared Services Foundation

During phase 5 we build the foundation for communication, collaboration and IT operations. This includes developing a shared IT support model, and centralizing the IT purchasing process and beginning to implement major company wide systems like voice platforms. We also build enhanced collaboration tools that are customized to the organization’s needs, and update and continue to execute the training plan.

Phase 6: Optimization of the New Infrastructure

This final phase of IT integration ensures that the new infrastructure runs efficiently and that the organization is prepared for future acquisitions. We standardize previously acquired sites, help develop an IT chargeback process, and document the IT service delivery model. To help facilitate future acquisitions, we build processes and approach templates.

A post-merger IT integration can be a time of high-stress. To both maintain business continuity and prepare the organization to meet long-term business goals, choose a partner that has a time-tested IT integration process and experience. Using Microsoft-based cloud technologies, Interlink has combined the infrastructures of hundreds of firms post-merger. Download our ebook to learn more about the top mistakes that can occur during the M&A process and how to avoid them.

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