Why do companies merge and divest? What are the key MA&D phases? How do you plan for MA&D activities? What are the activities Information Governance professionals need to best influence MA&D?
All good questions...
Are you prepared to answer them?
In most cases merger, acquisition and divestiture activity takes place behind closed doors which means, most times, Information Governance (IG) and records management professionals don’t always get time to plan and budget for M&AD activities in advance.
Once the deal is signed, it's up to information governance and records management teams to assure records and information are protected and managed appropriately, which requires substantial effort in coordinating the transfer for physical and electronic records in a way that delivers benefits and assures compliance.
Setting up and running a scalable, ‘managed’ archive service to address records transfers, migrations and decommissioning and archiving can facilitate a successful MA&D initiative.
Still, there are certainties to the MA&D process that an enterprise must admit.
- M&AD activity is driven by a business need to expand, increase profits or gain a competitive advantage that will increase revenue or drive down costs in a short period of time. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t maintain enough information governance resources to scale well.
- Changing priorities of small IG departments from strategic, in-house consultancy to time constrained, tactical M&AD activities can change the risk profile for your organization, so planning the placement and direction of IG support is needed.
- IG Professionals do not always have a seat at the table before the deal is sealed so this creates tremendous pressure once they are brought in to assure that information is being protected and controlled and that the decisions that are being made are doing no harm. This pressure stems from the nature of M&AD – to drive efficiencies as quickly as possible and the effect is that the professionals that know where information, records and data are stored are often the first to leave ... or be let go. Why? They are the support or shared services functions that can be integrated (or separated) more quickly than other groups that are generating the intellectual property or capital.
- An organization needs to know what to keep, where to keep it, and how long to keep it, including a way to destroy information securely that is no longer subject to legal, regulatory, or financial hold orders. Lack of metadata, business rules and standardized processes provide little or no consistency to how data is on boarded, managed, and controlled by the parent company.
- Depending on the size of the deal, there may not be a budget or enough of a budget to tackle integration or divestiture projects, creating challenging circumstances impacting IT infrastructure, systems and records and information management best practices.
- Let's not forget those old systems. Legacy applications bring to MA&D initiatives increased complexity and costs as redundant or obsolete technology is simply added to an existing infrastructure and support functions - a recipe for disaster.
Think Scalable, Managed Archiving
A scalable, managed enterprise archiving strategy addresses an organizations’ structured and unstructured assessment, transfer, migration and archive needs (‘archiving’) from tactical system appraisal to enterprise archiving services.
Why? When it comes to MA&D, scalable, managed information archiving is a mandate for the digital enterprise. Many organizations are facing massive pressure to comply with regulations and rules that apply to multinationals and public companies generating vast volumes of data from multiple applications.
Through implementing a scalable, managed archiving program, organizations can handle the rapid transfer of information in a complaint fashion while maintaining information governance during MA&D.
Plus, significant cost reductions can be achieved by adopting a holistic enterprise archive approach, including significant savings back to the organization, return IT spend for innovation and investment, a decrease in IT portfolio and, overall, an increase in enterprise efficiency, productivity and operational functionality.
With a scalable, managed archiving approach, the information management realities of MA&D do not need to overshadow the deal.
What is your approach to information management? Is an MA&D on the horizon for your organization? Send your comments to us below in our Leave a Comment section and we'll be happy to provide strategies and tips that may help sweeten your deal.