27 October 2006

As Gartner suggests that CIOs are integral in successful M&As, Informatica warns that data must be treated as an asset and not overlooked.

In an article this week, Dave Aron, VP and research director at Gartner, said that CIOs must get the IT infrastructure and asset base ready before any specific deal is on the table. He also suggested that CIOs play a pivotal role in the success of any M&A and must be involved in the process from the earliest stage.

Tim Daniels, UK Managing Director of Informatica, echoes this view. Informatica points to the technology implications for any type of merger leading directly to a large-scale data integration need, and that as companies become more automated, technology implications must be considered as soon as the M&A activity begins.

“In agreeing to any takeover, organisations need to ensure its customer information, (such as billing and charging data) is managed in a secure and well-integrated manner,” said Tim Daniels, UK Managing Director of Informatica. “Maintaining one version of the truth is absolutely critical to ensure that both organisations can carry on with business as usual through this transition period, despite having very different agendas. The acquiring entity will want to drive down costs and increase efficiency while retaining regulatory compliance and the purchased company will strive to understand its role within the new organisation.”

Daniels noted that data integration is a priority in huge international mergers where there are different languages and computing environments involved, and the CIO is critical in ensuring a smooth transition.

“The danger is that technology, applications and data may be mish-mashed together when mergers take place. Information bottlenecks can occur just as easily as when a dual carriageway merges into one lane. Companies cannot take the cello-tape approach to binding their operations together or this type of traffic will hamper operations. If a merger is to occur, data needs to be available for applications enterprise-wide, accurately, consistently and with good data quality,” added Daniels.

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