After a merger, acquisition or a divestiture, it’s a major challenge for the affected companies to create a workable and sustainable environment with all relevant information in their total systems. Without doing so, it can hurt business productivity, hinder easy access to data and sometimes create compliance issues.
The ultimate solution could be to consolidate or migrate from one system to another in order to maintain compliance to regulatory requirements, while decreasing operating costs. The trouble is, to the business community – especially senior management, migrating data seems like it should be an easy task. After all, it’s just moving data from one system to the other, right? Maybe, but probably not. That’s because systems within the combined company will most likely be incompatible. There may be applications using the same technology platforms, but be on different versions. One system could be out-of-the-box while the other could be highly customized. Data could be stored in multiple geographic locations. The quality of the data from one (or both) company(ies) could be very poor. And on and on it goes.
After the news of a merger, acquisition or divestiture, IT must to figure out how to handle data from all affected companies – but there are plenty of roadblocks to first overcome.
Here are some tips on how to avoid common data migration issues that happen with an acquisition or divestiture:
Put an M&A IT Team in Place Ahead of Time
If your company has a propensity to acquire, then this team should be in place ongoing. Even if the company doesn’t plan on a lot of acquisitions, there is plenty going on in the industry in terms of selling/buying products, divisions, plant sites, etc. Each of these require some of level of system integration and/or system deletion which makes having this team in place a good idea.
Know When to Ask for Help
It may seem like handling things internally is the best and cheapest route but things can quickly get overwhelming. Sometimes IT will attempt to do the work themselves using tools or software left over from a migration from years earlier. Or, the company might have a talented team of people who unfortunately don’t have much experience in large system migrations or with the SAME systems.
This is a project that requires predictability with an on-time finish (TSAs are often involved) – if your team can’t guarantee that, look for outside help.
Do an Initial Assessment
After figuring out you need help, get an initial assessment done as quickly as possible. It doesn’t have to be precise, but the clock is ticking, and you need to try to get a handle on answering the question, “how big is this?”
Although you might not be able to share much information yet between the acquired/divesting ventures, see if you can get any information on basic technology stacks, volumes of data/content. Anything at all is helpful. You’ll need an initial assessment to be able to take to upward get all of this funded (See: “Educate Upper Management”).
Educate Upper Management About What is Involved
As stated before, it can be an uphill battle to convince senior management to invest money in a data migration project. However, this is a “pay me now, or pay me later” proposition. It’s important to explain, in simple terms and with examples, why migrating and consolidating will save downstream costs (license renewals, maintenance) and it is more than moving information from System A to System B. Performing a merger of data, technologies and processes will help the organization consolidate programs and minimize the risk of non-compliance.
Leverage Automated Data Testing
If you have tens or hundreds of thousands of documents to migrate (or more) then sample-based testing simply won’t cut it. If you are only taking a sample and testing a small percentage of documents and data, you will continually find issues where it will require an unknown number of samples, and it can very quickly rack up man-hours and ultimately delay the finish of the project. Improve the predictability of your project by testing all of your data at once with the right software and services.
If you do need assistance migrating data during a merger, acquisition or divestiture, Valiance Partners has the experience, the software and the methodologies to streamline the project and finish on time with 100% verified data. Contact us today for a consultation.