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The Poll Results

While the focus maybe different as well as the plan, the goal is ultimately the same.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran a poll on LinkedIn asking the question about what the audience thought made up the majority of M&A activities. Given my audience and personal experience, the winning option of technology makes sense. The thing I want to highlight with my initial question has more to do with is that each possible option deals with a different approach to how you would handle the acquisition. Especially from the IT perspective.

For acquiring customers, you’re looking to figure out how to take the customers from one company into the other. Onboarding them into your application or CRM solution and provide some kind of training program to smooth their onboarding process. While acquiring the people, you will need to onboard them into your internal systems, provision accounts and licenses, get them into payroll so they can continue to get paid, etc.

With the technology piece, you’re looking at continuing the development of the product, while also looking at adding it either as a component of your pre-existing suite, or perhaps folding into another product. There are process considerations from not just the business perspective, but the development and release cycle. One company could be on-prem and the other cloud based, or one company could use AWS while the other is Azure based.

The last part of the poll is probably the closest to a full merger and encompasses everything above: the customers, the people, and the technology, but with the added focus of blending or merging the acquired company’s assets with the acquirer. While common for all of the other options above, cost plays an ever bigger part of the picture in the form of finding synergy. At the end of the day, this is an investment with the expectation that the new company will be even bigger and more profitable while spending less per person than before the purchase.

If you were wearing the CIO hat, and given the list of priorities above, what would your path look like?