Read the Real World Case 3, Cogent Communications, Intel, and Others: Mergers Go More Smoothly When Your Data Are Ready (pp. 213-214).
In a three- to five-page paper (not including the title page and reference pages), respond to the following:
a. Place yourself in the role of a manager at a company undergoing a merger or acquisition. Explain your customer’s expectations during the merger with at least three examples and describe what role IT would play in meeting those expectations.
b. Focus on what Andi Mann in the case calls “tribal knowledge.” Explain what you think is meant by that, and why it is important to the process. Provide at least one strategy you would suggest for companies that are faced with the extensive presence of this issue in an acquired organization.
c. Most of the discussion on the case focused on hardware and software issues. However, these are essentially enablers for underlying business processes developed by each of the companies involved. Analyze the different alternatives that companies have for merging their business processes, and discuss the role IT would play in supporting those activities. Be sure to address data management and governance
As a manager of a company which is going through a merger and acquisition, the customers will expect that I directed the company in obtaining good information and having proper documentations about the company’s data centers. The access to quality information and proper documentation depends on interacting with other persons to develop appropriate integration with the business procedures and processes. Moreover, they also expect that the manager will provide directions in developing clear guidelines to reduce the overall software costs and expenses.
For example, the customer expects the manager should develop a contingency plan to overcome any potential challenges which emerge from the merger and acquisition process. Another example is that the customers expect the business to continue without any halts. It is because the customer still expects to get access to adequate supply of the product and services without any delay. In a third illustration, the customers do not expect any form of downtime during the merger and acquisition process. The illustrations indicate the pressure on the managers to improve the IT programs which support the M &A process.
In meeting the expectations, the IT would play a critical role in the protection of data and the sufficient access controls. The IT groups must understand which systems conduct which processes to promote responsibility in the processes which conducts smooth operations. Most importantly, the IT group will help in developing comprehensive documentation processes and systems which keep tracks of the customer data and expectations during the merger and acquisition processes (O’Brien & Marakas, 2011). As a result, the IT performs a crucial in developing data centers and appropriate procedures and processes of accessing data.
The concept of tribal knowledge defines the information that could require being known by other individuals to develop quality product and services. It is significant to document the knowledge from the various persons on the method of making the processes operate with a limited amount of the employees. The concept is important as it could leave the company without any personnel with the knowledge of document if the limited employees moved out as a result of the merger and acquisition process (Yang, Wei & Chiang, 2014). The knowledgeable employees are usually vulnerable to poaching by other organizations, which could lower the employees with knowledge and information about the IT processes and documentation. Therefore, the issue of tribal knowledge is a major concern for the organizations involved in the merge and acquisition process due to the potential of losing employees with advanced knowledge about their processes.
The manager has a role in determining the specific barriers caused by tribal knowledge aspect. The managers should also determine the persons who will be involved in network management, systems management, storage, and management of applications. Such strategies will be critical in improving the overall documentation of knowledge and data to eliminate any redundancies. The management of the knowledge within the organization is critical and thus, it is necessary to create appropriate organizational structures and functions to support the merger and acquisition process.
Companies faced with the extensive presence of tribal knowledge, we recommend for the development of a work flow chart which outlines the persons responsible for each section of the data center. It was also recommendable to develop quality documentation to assist in the discovery process which the firms undergoes through before the finalization of the merger and acquisition process. It is because when the organizations are faced with increased presence of tribal knowledge in an acquired firm it has reliable documentation and processes to help in the merger and acquisition process to progress smoothly. These recommendations will be critical in ensuring that the company does not lack the personnel and strong data centers.
Alternatives to merging the business processes include the use of the network, visualization, and the integration of data centers. The merging firms will benefit from the network which provides high level of connectivity to improve merging of the business processes. Through the network, the merging businesses could use cloud computing to integrate their business activities and processes. Visualization and integration of data are another potential approaches, which makes it easier for the merging business processes (Yang et al., 2014). They offer a clear view of the data flow, which reduces redundancies while improving the merging of the business processes. Thus, the merging companies should assess the available merging alternatives for the businesses within the organization.
In terms of data management and governance perspective, the role of IT in supporting the merging activities includes providing standardization and the effective management of data. Standardization involves the implementation of appropriate guidelines for companies which will be enforced equally. The lack of standardization creates confusion about the IT processes within the companies during the merging processes. The IT are required to manage the data appropriate to limit any potential problems with proper governance. It is because effective data management helps in making merging and acquisition of data easier.
Without the management of data, it becomes challenging for the business activities to occur smoothly. It is clear that the merging processes runs smoothly when there is the ease of access data and information about the businesses. Finally, it is recommendable to adopt reliable configuration management programs and asset control tools. The tools will help in tracking the various elements within the diverse data centers. They also provide a clear outline of the data flow promoting the merging of the business processes within the organization. These recommendations will improve the overall IT governance and interventions to support smooth merging of the business processes.
O’Brien, J.A. & Marakas, G.M. (2011). Management information systems, 10th edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. ISBN: 978-0-07-337681-3
Yang, C. S., Wei, C. P., & Chiang, Y. H. (2014). Exploiting technological indicators for effective technology merger and acquisition (M&A) predictions. Decision Sciences, 45(1), 147-174.