When it comes to merging business technologies, it can be difficult to assimilate systems, transfer data and integrate workflows, all while trying to keep daily operations running smoothly. When two companies look to complete and finalize a merger, the larger or acquiring company needs to determine how to handle all technological assets and processes, including decommissioning older systems, transitioning to newer technologies or updating existing infrastructure.
While there are many routes that can be taken when combining technologies, there are a few critical steps that need to be taken to ensure a proper transition for both companies throughout the merger process.
Ways to Unify Business Technologies
Assess the existing technology landscape → Before merging applications, both companies need to thoroughly assess the current technologies, systems and critical infrastructure that powers their operations. There is a good chance both companies could have operating systems or programs that overlap and not even know it, so having a clear understanding of what each company utilizes can help make the process easier. Understanding the applications, systems and infrastructure in place can help identify redundancies and overlaps in their merger, while mitigating compatibility issues.
Define a technological strategy → Based on the completed assessment of technologies, the newly-formed company should develop a clear technology strategy for the merged brand. Since the companies have combined into a singular association, all the technology is under one “roof” and is now under the same title. This strategy should align with the overall business objectives of the company, and it also must consider cost-effectiveness and integration capabilities that can be provided. There are many different methods of integration, with Application Programing Interface (API) being one of the most common. This is a system that allows different applications to communicate with each other to interact and exchange data, streamlining the process into an easier task. Cloud-based integration, which offers onsite systems to help transfer and transform data, is also commonly used alongside API.
Prioritize application → Once the strategy has been developed, there is a need to identify the crucial applications and systems that need to be merged first. Based on factors that include critical business impacts and pressing customer needs, the more important or high-touch programs should be integrated to the new network first. The most common way of determining priority is through gap analysis, a method of assessing performance based on objectives and financial analysis. This form of analysis detects if pre-determined requirements are being met, while subsequently creating next steps for how to remedy the problem. If two programs are dependent on each other to work, then that plays a role in determining the order of integration.
Plan integration or migration approach → The final planning stage is one of the most important for the merger process. The company needs to decide on the approach for integrating or migrating the applications, and this should be done through the mutual construction of a highly-detailed plan. An outline of the sequence of integration activities, milestones, resource requirements, and potential risks ensures that the technical migration goes properly. There are three commonly used steps that cover testing, training and changing management components to mitigate potential disruptions:
Data Migration: This requires moving data from one system or format to another. When companies go through mergers and acquisitions they need to determine how data from both companies will be migrated into a unified system, and data migration planning helps keep their assets safe. Through planning, extraction, and loading, a company can move data safely and quickly.
Application Integration: This is the process of connecting different software and applications to work together through communication, data sharing, and exchanging functions. Companies use this to ensure overall productivity and user experience, while identifying integration points and defining the technical approach for connecting the systems.
System Consolidation: This combines multiple systems through data and application migration to create a more efficient and cost-friendly environment. System dependencies and compatibility are taken into consideration and help create a smooth transition from two programs to one.
Test and validate → Once the merging of technology has been completed, there is still testing that needs to be done to ensure functionality and performance. Testing the technology rigorously helps secure the systems and ensures they work properly throughout the merger and beyond. Testing can come in the form of unit and integration testing:
Unit Testing: A unit is the smallest piece of code within a software, and it can be isolated within a specific system. These pieces can be tested independently to find any flaws within the program. This process of testing helps take an isolated approach to validate a software’s behavior and make sure that they work as expected.
Integration Testing: On a larger scale, integration testing tests multiple units as a combined code, rather than an individual unit. Instead of just looking at one piece of code, integration testing works through multiple units one at a time, as they are combined into a full program. This testing method helps ensure the different units integrate properly and function as expected.
How can Resolvit Help?
Without the proper procedures and compartmentalized plan in place, going through a merger can cause companies unnecessary grief -- which is why you need an experienced partner to streamline the operation. With extensive experience buildings, managing and supporting complex business processes during mergers and acquisitions -- along with sourcing best-in-class specialists across the IT landscape, Resolvit maximizes workforce productivity, while ensuring your business doesn’t miss a beat. Contact us today, and overcome the multi-vertical challenges standing between you and the success of your merger.