It’s a buyer’s market for companies right now, according to a Wired blog post by Rob Fox, vice president of Application Development for Liaison Technologies, a global cloud integration and data management company. If you’re interested in selling, one way to make your company more attractive is by spiffing up your data, he explains:
“Companies that secure a successful liquidity event in the months to come will be those that can demonstrate the attributes of an ‘A’ company–experienced management teams, strong revenue growth, good market position, and increasingly, fundamental technology and analytics capabilities–notably, master data management and integration–that are playing a growing role in successful M&A outcome.”
I’ve seen a lot of pieces about the importance of strong data governance and integration during mergers and acquisitions, but this is the first time I’ve seen someone argue strong data capabilities could help attract buyers. Still, given the new focus on data-driven organizations and analytics I think it makes sense. After all, it’s not news that IT and integration have long been impediments during mergers and acquisitions, often because companies fail to involve CIOs early in the process.
Fox’s primary goal in this blog is to convince you to build a scalable MDM strategy, but I actually think his best point is that integration is not a one-time thing for companies relying heavily on M&A as a growth strategy. It’s a common mistake to view integration as a one-time event, he writes. But that creates risks, especially as you add companies:
“Each time a new entity or solution is acquired, its divergent systems and data must be integrated into those of the buyer. As the number of acquisitions grows, so too does the number of disparate applications that must be integrated. Viewing the data integration component of each acquisition in a vacuum often results in inefficiency and the loss or delay of crucial business intelligence.”
In other words: Integration itself should not be a silo.
One way to put integration into a broader context is to focus first on application consolidation.
“Consolidation is still the primary means of simplifying the environment to keep integration requirements down,” John Reeves, Hackett Group Global IT Advisory program leader, told me during a recent interview.
“As a matter of fact, we refer to it as complexity, because with every new asset or every new data source for an entity that you add, that expands the number of connections significantly because you have to connect it to 10 other systems or what have you,” he said. “So consistently we see people driving down the numbers of the types of systems that they have.”
Read Fox’s full article to find out the three critical steps companies need to take to create a scalable MDM strategy.
For more information on how to manage data during an M&A, check out these additional resources:
- “Strategic growth and the impact of an effective integration infrastructure: Merger integration for the middle market,” a free white paper offered by McGladrey recommended to me by an IT Business Edge reader
- “Don’t wait for a merger or acquisition to justify data integration,” by integration expert Rick Sherman
- “IT Can Prove Worth by Helping Companies Navigate M&A Minefields”
- “Playing in the Merger and Acquisition Majors with T-Ball-Level Data Integration”