Making IT Architecture Merger Friendly

Charlene OHanlon
In the business space, increased merger and acquisition activity is a sure sign that the economy is improving. And the latest data from the IntraLinks Deal Flow Indicator points to a healthy upswing.

The company, which creates virtual datarooms for enterprises and so tracks M&A activity on a quarterly basis, reports a 12 percent increase in global deal activity for the fourth quarter of 2009 over the previous quarter-the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. That's a sure sign that things are improving, in all areas.

'The fourth-quarter increase was witnessed across all major regions and industries, including double-digit increases in the number of telecom and media transactions,' said J. Andrew Damico, president and CEO of IntraLinks in a press release. 'Although deal activity was still lower in 2009 than in 2008, the growth tracked by our Deal Flow Indicator signifies a positive shift.'

That's good news for companies looking to expand through acquisition, whether through buying or selling. Either way, CTOs in particular should take note of the increase in M&A activity. As the economy improves, so does the opportunity for your company to acquire or be acquired. But an M&A-unfriendly infrastructure could make your company less attractive to potential suitors, or worst-case kill a deal altogether.

When it comes to a corporate network, CTOs should heed the adage that a cluttered space is the sign of a cluttered mind. Infrastructures that are siloed, pieced together without rhyme or reason or otherwise cludgy don't reflect well on the company. After all, who wants to inherit an infrastructure that's not well-planned and executed but instead looks like a rat's nest and probably performs at a fraction of its ability? And who's to say that once the morass is untangled or unsiloed that the infrastructure can be integrated with the other company's network?

CTOs should make it a priority in 2010 to get their company's infrastructure in order. That includes mapping out the network end-to-end, inventorying the hardware and software and determining the lifecyle of every piece of the network, from servers and routers to software licenses. Perform as much application integration as is possible, and find ways to further the infrastructure without preventing further siloing.

In short, unclutter the infrastructure. Keep it simple yet effective. Make it a point of strength for your company. That, as much as anything, could be the feature that clinches the sale.

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