Mergers & Acquisitions - A Time Of Upheaval & Chaos
ITAM For Mergers And Acquisitions - A Dangerous Time
While M&As can be exciting for many parts of your company, when your ITAM team suddenly faces unprecedented and unexpected scrutiny, they will not be too excited. In fact, ITAM for mergers and acquisitions can be pretty dangerous. Here’s why:
- M&As Are Highly Distracting
M&As don’t happen often, and because of that, past mistakes often get repeated. If a process was put into place to deal with an M&A, it was probably such a long time ago that there’s no one on staff that knows anything about it. But it’s more likely that no one at your organization has ever gone through an M&A before, in which case errors are almost sure to occur.
- M&As Are Highly Visible
While your ITAM team may be excited to be part of the excitement, such close and unusual scrutiny can be stressful. During M&A, your company leadership has a lot at stake and won’t take kindly to your department submitting reports involving unbudgeted expenses, project delays, or scope creep.
- M&As Are Software License Audit Risks
Software publishers and auditors just love times of corporate upheaval, and they know ITAM for mergers and acquisitions is often messy. They know your company is vulnerable during this time, and you will be more likely to agree to concessions you would not agree to during normal times. So, they’re sure to spring into action the minute the M&A is made public. In addition, license agreement terms and conditions around corporation to corporation activity buried in contractual language are easily overlooked, which is another opportunity for simple mistakes to go undetected.
5 Tips To Avoid Issues In ITAM For Mergers & Acquisitions
The minute you find out that an M&A is imminent, you need to get your team ready. Here are 5 tips that you can use as your guide to preventing issues in ITAM for mergers and acquisitions:
- Get Your ITAM Team Involved Right Away
The sooner your team knows about the company’s plans and understands they will be front and center, the better. Don’t wait for them to hear about it somewhere else, and the last thing you want is for them to panic.
- Get IT Security, IT Finance, & Project Management Involved Early, Too
Cybersecurity will want to assess security and vulnerability issues within the acquired company. As far as IT Finance is concerned, nothing will throw off a cost/benefit analysis like an unknown cost or penalty lurking within the acquired company – I call these “gotchas .”And Project Managers (PMs) will be the source of your information about who are knowledge holders and can help ensure that expectations are met.
- Understand That You’ll Be Running Two ITAM Teams For A While
Each company’s asset records and CIs must be kept separate until the combined group’s service and license agreements are renegotiated.
- Get In Control Of How Much Software Publishers & Service Providers Know About The M&A
Software auditors examine trade publications and press releases every day and delight in scheduling audits during the most inopportune times for you. You and your ITAM team need to be ready for an audit notification the second your M&A plans go public. Have your audit defense playbook ready!
- Don’t Hesitate To Bring In Outside Help
Software publishers routinely bring in third-party software auditors to help them conduct their investigations, and you have every right to bring in knowledgeable counsel, as well. When an audit could translate into millions of dollars of unbudgeted expenses, investing in an ITAM coach (like me!) is a wise move and will reduce the stress level in your department.
While mergers and acquisitions can be an exciting time for your organization, a lack of ITAM planning can turn it into a nightmare for your ITAM team. The tips above will help you weaponize your ITAM for Mergers and Acquisitions, and your team may very well end up being the company’s heroes.
So, implement ITAM best practices all the time, and you’ll rest assured that your data is trustworthy and accurate when you need it. It’s been estimated that ITAM when deployed and maintained correctly, will reduce software spend by up to 30% – without loss of capability. It’s well worth the effort, even if your organization is never involved with an M&A.