Merger, acquisition, and divestiture events require significant IT planning to ensure that the business value of the deal in progress can be realized. WGroup has helped clients tackle difficult strategic IT challenges at all stages of the M&A process lifecycle. In line with our philosophy of business-driven IT, we design the best-fit approach for each client’s specific deal thesis and business plan. Our primary focus is on maximizing speed to value while minimizing risk and business disruption.
We believe that targeted IT strategy initiatives are critical in several typical M&A scenarios:
Understanding a target organization’s IT capability is more important than ever in any acquisition due diligence process. IT has always been critical to ensuring that business operations run smoothly through the course of a transition. Enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and supply chain management (SCM) systems have been at the heart of key business processes for many years. However, companies today have expanded their dependencies on web and e-commerce, data and analytics, and business process automation to the point that these technologies may now be at the core of their value proposition and business differentiation. Understanding whether a target entity’s proprietary IT is real and can live up to its promise is essential.
WGroup has assisted numerous private equity, and strategic buyers evaluate the technology and IT processes of potential acquisition targets. Our experienced consultants are comfortable working at an intense pace and operating as part of a broader due diligence team, often collaborating with other organizations in developing more holistic assessments.
While WGroup strongly encourages companies to include the IT organization very early in merger integration planning, we have found that this is rarely the case. IT typically gets involved in these processes only after the acquisition and merger decisions have been made, deals have been announced, and the aggressive integration clock has started ticking.
WGroup helps clients in these situations quickly assess the technology systems and processes of all the parties undergoing integration. We also address prior acquisitions that may not have been fully consolidated. Our approach is to normalize and compare each company’s current IT function across six primary dimensions – Organization, Process, Infrastructure, Applications, Suppliers, and Financials. With this baseline assessment in hand, WGroup factors in the company’s business strategy to determine which elements of IT need to be standard across the integrated company and which parts should be unique to a particular business unit. We then identify redundancies and make recommendations regarding rationalization and consolidation across those dimensions.
WGroup underpins all its recommendations with a financial model and business case to determine both the investment required to integrate and the cost synergies achievable in the process. We then help you develop a formal, detailed, and executable integration plan inclusive of a program timeline, resource plan, financial requirements, risk mitigation plan, and communications strategy. Where required, we support our clients with program management and the execution of the integration efforts.
WGroup also helps clients plan spinoffs and divestitures from an IT point of view. In these scenarios, WGroup takes a two-pronged approach.
Early in the process, we help to identify and market existing IT capabilities that enhance the value of the deal. These may include customer engagement systems, process automation or key data repositories and analytical systems.
Further along in the process, our consultants will plan an orderly separation of the carved-off unit’s IT function from the parent. These separations may include data segregation, systems cloning (application and infrastructure), organizational division, and asset allocation (hardware & software). IT separation also typically involves the creation of a Transition Services Agreement (TSA) to enable a swifter resolution by allowing the parent to perform services for the new organization under a third-party contract.
WGroup has also worked directly for spinoff entities to define a new target IT operating model. We can set up a tailored IT function after helping to resolve legacy IT issues imposed by its former parent.
By mastering the four stages of M&A integration, you will be better prepared to evaluate the readiness of the merger, spot value creation opportunities, and bring any M&A to a higher level.
Without IT’s involvement in decision-making on M&As, the deal could potentially fall apart. CIOs must show how IT can add value to the merger and work closely with business leaders from day one.