Boy have I heard this one before - it’s a common complaint among the IT fraternity - not enough voice is given to tech management during boardroom meetings. CTOs are notoriously badly represented at most AGMs (annual general meetings) and a similarly poor showing is seen during M&A (mergers and acquisition) activity. Ask a techie what the most likely result of this is in practice – and hopefully the answer you’ll get will be, “shoddy integration.”
In a recent piece of data fired at me yesterday I see that Bloor Research has found that 79 per cent of M&A activity ignores IT integration (that seems ridiculously high – but let’s go on for now) and despite the fact that 50 per cent of the CIOs (or CTOs) said they knew about the planned M&A “months before” it happened, 37.5 per cent said that a detailed plan for system integration wasn't put in place until 'months after.'
They also found that more than one third do not expect integration to be complete within two years of the M&A deal being completed – and that 54 per cent cited poor overall data quality and documentation as a significant issue.
Bloor’s research was undertaken via a survey of the National Computing Centre (NCC) membership. The full report, is titled "Mergers and Acquisitions and their IT Impact," includes anonymous quotes from senior level IT respondents and is available on Informatica’s (the company who commissioned the survey) web site.
Personally, if I was one of the “37.5 per cent said that a detailed plan for system integration wasn't put in place”… wouldn’t you think, well, I need to speak up a bit! Maybe that’s the reason I’m not getting much voice in the boardroom, y’know? I know IT managers are all to often sidelined at a management level, but I question whether these figures are skewed to be overly reactionary to make headlines. Is it really that bad out there guys?