A conceptual framework and considerations for mergers and acquisitions in the information technology arena
Van Schalkwyk, Phillipus Johannes
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Mergers and acquisitions are an economical strategy of organisations to ensure sustainable growth, to improve their competitive advantage and the achievement of economies of scale. Information Technology is an integral part of organisations and meshed into every component of these organisations. The scope of the integration may vary from one component to the next. The importance of Information Technology cannot be underestimated, since it is facilitating the organisation to reach its specific goals. The process of mergers and acquisitions are complex enough without adding stress from the different Information technologies and systems. The technical decisions in companies are often being made by technical experts, but managers need to take greater responsibility for these decisions, knowledge and practical know-how, to ease the process of mergers between organisations and departments. The objective of the study was to develop a framework that can be applied by organisations to assist them, with the use of effective Information technologies and systems to successfully complete the merging of two or more organisations. The framework could also be useful to general management of Information Technology in any organisation, regardless of its intention to merge. Even should an organisation achieve great successes, these successes will create new and more challenging opportunities. This suggested framework will lead the way to overcome the challenges of the new opportunities and improve the performance of the company. The competitive environment, in which any organisation functions, is ever changing and that within itself holds a variety of challenges. In an even faster changing Information Technology and Systems environment, it becomes a nightmare to merge two or more organisations. Information Technology and Systems being the centre of any organisation, structuring a merger or acquisition around this component, from the start of the process, should ease the transition and assist in attaining synergy. Organisations need to implement value innovation, rather than striving to match or outperform the competition. The strategy of the organisation is always changing to ensure that the organisation is performing optimally in the industry. Not restructuring nor automation, but a conscious redesign process. The management of Information Technology within the organisation is important and whatever is being redesigned, is to be done so within the rules and should be managed throughout, using the available capital (human, organisational, intellectual and relationship) this framework suggests. There are no retrenchments, unless inevitable. No man is an island is often said of our lives. Within the organisation there is also no department that could function on its own. Therefore, all knowledge and information available need to be assessed and managed to ensure that Information Technology and Systems is used efficiently in the quest for sustainable competitive advantage. Specific metrics needs to be developed, evaluated and benchmarked against those of competitors, to identify areas of improvements. The result of a literature study was to identify the components of the framework. With information gathered from the empirical study the final framework was developed and discussed.