IT Tips for Managing Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions

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Technically, the title of this blog is "Mergers & Integration." Right now, just about everything written on integration ties to SOA -- but each week, I try to find at least one integration article for your reading pleasure that does not mention SOA.


In this SOA-this and SOA-that market, it's harder than you think.


This week, I found this excellent CIO Insight interview with Patricia Morrison. While she is currently the CIO and executive VP at Motorola, she has also been head of IT at Office Depot and Quaker Oats. Her specialty is overseeing the challenges that come from merging IT divisions and systems after an acquisition.


Morrison says all integrations create similar challenges; therefore, you can apply a similar strategy to managing them.


The key to her specific strategy for tackling mergers and integrations? Talk, talk, talk and talk some more with the business. Focus on the fact this is a business problem, and not about standardizing IT. In particular, use business process management tools to help determine what IT needs to do to support the business.


One point that seems obvious, albeit easy to overlook, is that you'll need to identify both the cost savings and revenue-generating synergies the business hopes to gain through the acquisition. Once you know that, Morrison says, you can develop an IT integration plan that supports achieving those synergies.


The piece is short, based on real-world experience and worth reading. In other words, the perfect item for a Friday afternoon.