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As a merger or acquisition is taking place, IT departments are often left carrying a large portion of the burden of making two companies become one. Not only are IT professionals responsible for keeping existing systems up and running without a glitch, but they must also find a way to integrate the systems acquired and streamline operations to make an even larger company run smoothly. In order to ensure that the necessary systems are in place for a smooth transition, there are two simple steps that executives can take as they sign the deal to ease the pain for the IT departments involved:
• Look ahead. Once a merger takes place, what changes in the business could potentially drive the need for major IT changes, and of these changes, which are the most pertinent to the growing business? Using an enterprise architecture to look back at the blueprint of the current state and the future state of the organization that includes the new assets will drive planning around future IT investments.
• Be prepared to move fast. The biggest risk associated with a merger is its impact on customer retention. At a time when both companies are focused on internal issues, often the customers are left unattended, and as such are prey to competition.
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