Technological Challenges with Corporate Mergers

Vimal Ramachandran, Director


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    The current economic situation in the UAE indicates that some companies are vulnerable, and an increasing number of enterprises have sought mergers as a result. Mergers bring new opportunities and can increase revenue, and as such has become an attractive option for a lot of companies.

    When you try to combine systems, there are a lot of advantages and challenges that come. The advantages include combined reports, bringing operations together, and that board members get easy MIS reports.

    A lot of trading companies and banks in particular have taken the merger route to increase their stability, but this results in numerous challenges for IT systems. It brings both technical and digital challenges and can cause difficulties in combining technology operations into one. Companies “A” and “B” will almost always have different operations and that’s difficult to handle.

    History of records won’t match for a data integrity report. Dimensions of reporting will be different for the two companies. There’s also an innovation challenge. When they merge, there needs to be a business reason for the merger. They need to innovate new things with their current systems.

    Blockchain can help to avoid challenges. It can easily integrate systems and data sources can be validated and used to trust reports; it will give easier data analysis and trust of data for merging companies. Blockchain can be difficult to implement, but it promises to bring huge benefits. Banks will have to assess how to handle customers during a merger. Merging causes technology gaps and that’s not easy to manage. There will be issues around training and distribution, and how to handle shipments. Issues can occur without proper planning.

    Organizations should always see challenges as advantages. They should look to bring new technology and IT systems and invest in security to avoid challenges. It’s an undoubted challenge for companies to implement new technology, but it must be done. IT systems must be farsighted when merging. Organizations need to evaluate the cost benefits and technology benefits, and then decide which technology to progress with. They shouldn’t just think about the present, but also the future.

    Cloud is going to be a challenge with mergers. One company may be reliant on the cloud, but the other could be reliant on on-premise. The future will be in the cloud, so we need to keep an eye on the future. They also need quick wins to mitigate any problems occurring.

    “Organisations need to adopt best practices to take strategic decisions.”

    Organizations need to adopt best practices like COBIT 5 or COBIT 2019 to take strategic decisions. They need to do a proper analysis of what needs to be achieved and use a GAP analysis. Then they can plan projects to avoid future risks and proceed without any loss of business.

    Proper project management is key. You need to build a project management office with the right stakeholders to plan properly for the merger. If you’re focused too much on project management, you can’t always focus on your own business, and sometimes that aspect can be outsourced.

    When it comes to solving conflicts between two parties, meanwhile, the board must decide on some issues. There aren’t always clear answers. Boards have to take tough decisions. It’s important to be flexible enough to decide things based on logic.

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