Post-Merger Information Technology Rationalization is an important, but invasive and complex task. Rationalization describes the process of determining which applications to keep and which to discard when companies want to make their IT departments more efficient and streamlined. Most companies find that they experience technology bloat over time. Some users might use 10-year-old technology to perform business processes while others have gone mobile. This means that applications aren’t standardized, data might not be properly consolidated, and the company has to pay to support multiple versions of software and hardware. Thus, companies might save money by pruning software and hardware that are duplicated or don’t really contribute to the business.
Why is Post-Merger Information Technology Rationalization both Critical and Complex?
. After a merger of two companies, it’s very likely that many business processes are duplicated by the IT infrastructure of two or more organizations.
Typically, this bloat occurs gradually over years and decades. Thus, the process of rationalization could be ongoing and perhaps, not so urgent. After a merger of two companies, it’s very likely that many business processes are duplicated by the IT infrastructure of two or more organizations. If this situation persists, the combined company will lose many of the efficiencies that they hoped to gain by the merger. Thus, it’s much more critical to address post-merger IT rationalization.
As the name rationalization implies, this process consists of determining the reasons for keeping parts of the infrastructure and discarding other parts. Gartner provided a high-level overview of the basic process. These are the four basic steps in this process:
- Document the current technology portfolio: This may be one of the most challenging steps in the process. The IT staff and users departments will need to document the technologies that they use to do their jobs.
- Assess each piece of the current technology: Each part of the existing tech has to be assessed for its business value to the new organization. During this stage, apps and hardware might be categorized into those which should be enhanced, migrated, discarded, and perhaps, temporarily tolerated.
- Rationalize: After evaluating each piece of current technology, it’s important to provide supporting reasons for decisions. These reasons should be aligned with overall business and IT goals. For example, some processes may be eliminated in order to standardize business processes or to consolidate data and reduce errors.
- Document the new portfolio: Ensure that the new portfolio gets documented and maintained. In this evolving digital age, this certainly won’t be the last time that a company will go through the rationalization process, so good documentation will make the next process much easier.
How Can CIOs Conduct Post-Merger Information Technology Rationalization in an Employee-Friendly Way?
If the rationalization process only involved software and hardware, it would be easier to make the best decisions for the overall company. Of course, the process of eliminating parts of an IT infrastructure also involves the people who maintain and develop software. It also involves employees who use applications to do their jobs. Employees at all levels may feel that this process will threaten their job security or at least, threaten their control.
These are some steps for CIOs to take to help improve morale and cooperation during this process:
- Executives need to demonstrate long leadership in the process by promoting the benefits of rationalization as part of an overall IT strategy. Employees need to see the effort as positive and not negative.
- CIOs need to get their executive peers and department managers to buy into the process. Other leaders need to feel as if they are part of the solution and not part of a problem. Those leaders need to communicate the benefits to their own people.
- Executives might create a team from different parts of the merging organization
Of course, the process of eliminating parts of an IT infrastructure also involves the people who maintain and develop software. It also involves employees who use applications to do their jobs. Employees at all levels may feel that this process will threaten their job security or at least, threaten their control.
to define unbiased metrics that can be used to assess current technology. If employees understand that rationalization isn’t an attempt to take their jobs but to improve the company, they might even get excited about improvements.
- The rationalization process and subsequent projects need to stick to clear timelines and schedules. Executives may ask for timely updates and hold regular meetings. These give IT and other department representatives a chance to share their findings and perhaps, share difficulties.
demonstrate their own commitment to the process. CIOs must make it clear that this process will occur. Even more, they have to promote the business benefits of eliminating inefficient or duplicated technology. It’s best if this can be stated in terms of how this will free up resources to help the overall business improve and grow.
Business growth is mostly positive for a company’s workers and should present new opportunities for them in the future. This is an age of learn IT infrastructure and rapidly evolving technology. CIOs need to make it clear that they might discard technology bloat, but they aren’t trying to discard employee bloat. These concerns might be heightened after a merger, but they can be pervasive in all sorts of companies. The end result of rationalization should be a more modern and agile IT infrastructure.
How does your company deal with Post-Merger Information Technology Rationalization?