Treat merger activity as an opportunity, CIOs told


Treat merger activity as an opportunity, CIOs told

Boris Sedacca

Chief information officers should approach mergers, acquisitions and divestments (MA&Ds) as an opportunity to increase staff levels and strengthen IT assets, according to new research from Gartner.

The findings come as global merger and acquisition activity reaches record levels, with $2.68 trillion of deals in the first nine months of this year, according to global research group Dealogic. The research group said last month there had been 132 unsolicited bids so far this year, more than double the number in the same period last year and the highest since 1999.

“IS organisations which are MA&D-ready tend to have a CIO who has been engaged in the process from an early stage,” said Gartner research director Dave Aron.

“Practised CIOs are more likely to engage, prepare and execute on the process earlier than a classic MA&D timetable would suggest, with a strong bias towards fast, clear decision-making and people issues.”

A CIO of an acquiring company will generaly have known about any deal much earlier than the CIO of the target organisation, Aran said, but the latter could still take precautions to ensure that he or she was similarly well prepared should an acquisition be on the cards.

“We advise CIOs in this situation to have their processes, human resources and assets well documented, and to take an honest view of their position,” Aron said.

“In the early days we would recommend trying to learn as much as possible about your suitor and developing a plan accordingly that will keep staff motivated and on side.”

Gartner said CIOs who thrived in MA&D environments typically function in a role wider than IS during due diligence and use the opportunity to develop themselves, their staff and their architecture.

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