Service Excellence

4-Phase Approach to Overcoming the Challenges of Merger-Driven IT Integration

Laddie Suk By Laddie Suk Digital Transformation and Industry Solutions, Dell Technologies Consulting Services January 3, 2019

Figure 1: Wall Street Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park

In a previous blog, “Why Is Merger-Driven IT Integration Like a Hike in a National Park?,” I wrote about using a merger or acquisition to trigger modernizing IT infrastructure and expanding the use of big data analytics. This blog picks up where I left off and adds greater detail.

Recently, I hiked extensively in Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in southern Utah. I compared the characteristics of mergers and acquisitions to the terrain of the two parks, which have similarities yet striking differences.

At respective park entrances, I stopped at the Visitor Center for advice on which hiking trails to attempt. The helpful rangers first asked consultative questions: How much time did I have? What types of hikes did I wish to undertake? What difficulty level was I prepared to take? Then, we jointly mapped out routes that met my desires.

Planning for the Merger-Driven IT Integration

Just like park rangers, experienced consultants have an important role to play advising companies preparing for and executing a merger. Like park rangers, we’ve already hiked trails of IT integration from mergers and acquisition with many clients. Some of the questions we pose to clients who are undertaking an IT transformation program through a merger or acquisition are similar to the questions a ranger poses prior to a hiker:

  • How much time do you have before the new company launches?
  • What are the most critical systems that need to be ready on day 1?
  • How well-prepared is your team for changes in systems, processes, and roles?

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” has been attributed to Winston Churchill in reference to the conditions after World War II that drove the formation of the United Nations. There is some doubt as to whether he actually used those words, but it certainly sounds like something he would say.

I have repurposed this phrase to “don’t let a merger or acquisition event go to waste – use it to transform.”

Why?

Leveraging Disruption to Drive Progress

You’re already facing disruption due to the merger and integration, so you may as well also leverage this disruption to drive progress towards your “north star” IT service delivery objectives. In short, a merger event provides all the necessary ingredients to implement transformation in an enterprise – not only a short range timeframes (100-day) for the most urgent tasks, but an impetus to map out a multi-year roadmap for modernization and transformation. Getting expert advice from an IT “park ranger” (e.g., a Dell EMC Consulting professional) can provide a seasoned perspective and a second pair of eyes as IT organizations merge. Most importantly, it can provide the opportunity to ‘question everything’ (Euripides).

How?

A recent Gartner report Key IT Challenges in Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestments cites 5 key challenges to IT success with mergers and acquisitions. The table below shows how Dell EMC Consulting addresses each of these challenges.

Abiding by Proven Methodologies

Dell EMC Consulting’s pragmatic experience focuses on delivering value in the ‘just right’ zone of integration and spending (see Figure 1 which plots IT costs vs. various types of merger integrations). Our experience is that it’s easy to overspend by attempting to modernize every IT system, focusing on total integration. It is also easy to underspend by not recognizing the IT challenges during mergers. We bring seasoned advisors to client programs to help develop and achieve results that balance integration with cost. Finally, Dell EMC has proven methodologies based on our own internal Dell (and EMC in the past) experience in acquiring dozens of companies. We can bring this experience to help you!

Figure 3: IT Costs vs. Various Types of Merger Integrations

Summary

Never let a merger, acquisition or divestiture event pass without considering how to effectively modernize and transform the business and IT infrastructure. Just as park rangers provided relevant and knowledgeable advice at Zion and Bryce Canyons, consider Dell EMC Consulting as a valuable partner for your merger planning, 100-day execution and long term integration.

A final note: I hiked more than 14 miles and the equivalent of 102 floors up and back down over 2 days (1 day in each park) and loved every minute!  I came away with a sense of accomplishment (thanks to excellent advice from the park rangers) and deep admiration for some of America’s most beautiful sights.

Learn More about Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Zion National Park 

Bryce Canyon National Park

Fantastic hotel adjacent to Zion National Park – you can literally walk to Zion!

Laddie Suk

About Laddie Suk


Digital Transformation and Industry Solutions, Dell Technologies Consulting Services

Laddie leads a cross-functional Dell Technologies Consulting team focused on digital transformation and industry solutions. He is a seasoned industry veteran with deep experience across multiple industries, solutions, and technologies. As a former Verizon Network CIO and Network Executive at AT&T and Bell Labs, he has extensive hands-on experience in leading strategic network and IT development projects and managing communication service provider environments. He has also led strategic and tactical engagements in network transformation, IT transformation, and business process and performance improvement for clients throughout the Americas.

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