Cyber Security Due Diligence in Mergers & Acquisitions

 

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are a difficult time for companies. Numerous challenges can arise from the integration of different corporate cultures and technology ecosystems. It is essential to have a well-thought-out strategy to integrate technology assets ranging from infrastructure, data, and applications into a single unified framework. This is where technology management comes in.

What is Technology Management in M&A?

Below is a list of critical technology management areas that you should consider for M&A, and we can assist you with each one:

– Technology Due Diligence: Before starting strategic planning, it is essential to conduct full due diligence that covers the key technology areas of integration. The scope should protect critical technology assets, applications, infrastructure, and data. This will help to identify any areas that can cause the M&A to be unsuccessful, such as regulatory restrictions or data residency requirements.

It can also help to highlight cybersecurity risks that can arise, such as a vulnerable technology or one environment having a high technical debt. We can help you capture and identify these issues early on, which not only helps management make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the acquisition, but also helps you avoid other problems later.

– Gap Assessments: An M&A is not an organic growth of an existing company’s IT footprint, but a merger of different systems, environments, applications, and security controls. It is imperative to carry out a thorough assessment at the start to identify potential areas of overlap, security issues, compatibility problems, technical debt, and areas of improvement. We can guide
you through this assessment in the planning phase, letting you reap the benefits further down the line with a much smoother
technology integration.

– Project Plan: An M&A must be treated like a project, complete with a fully defined plan (especially for technology systems). This
plan should highlight critical milestones and checkpoints with regular updates provided to management on successes or blockers.
Management should ensure that sufficient investments in time and budgets are allocated so that the technology migration
happens seamlessly.

This can include training or upskilling existing staff, creating new environments for data storage, revamping
security controls, upgrading existing hardware, etc. We have expertise with all types of projects, and can help you devise a smart project plan for your M&A.

– IT Governance: It is essential to have full transparency through the M&A project by involving critical stakeholders like technology,
audit, governance, risk management, cybersecurity, etc. This will ensure that the risk posture of either environment is not
compromised, and technology controls are not downgraded.

It is common during M&A for large amounts of data to be generated and stored as the environments merge. Having appropriate governance processes will ensure that no data security or quality issues arise in the long run, and we have the skills to assist you with designing these processes.

– Integration and Implementation: In the implementation phase, systems, applications, and infrastructure begin the complex task
of integration with each other. This requires oversight of all areas to ensure that no business or system disruption occurs and data is
seamlessly migrated between environments.

A key technology management area to consider is personnel training on the new applications and systems that will be used. Without proper training, staff will not be able to use the migrated applications, and they may also become resistant to the new technology systems and processes.

This can result in delays, errors, and reduced morale. Therefore, investing in training early on can pay huge dividends further down the road. This is another place where we can help; our experience with setting up employee training will be useful for your M&A.

– Monitoring and Oversight: M&A is not a one-time activity. Systems, applications, and data must be routinely monitored to ensure
no issues arise. Additionally, it is important to consider that errors and misconfigurations might not be immediately apparent, and may take months or even years to appear. Criteria must be defined for the signoff of migrated data and applications as part of the technology management strategy. You can leverage our partner’s expertise to make sure the proper monitoring
is occurring in your business.

How Tcom Solutions Can Help

Technology management is a critical strategic area that can determine the success or failure of your M&A. Companies often face challenges balancing the needs of effective technology management with their day-to-day operations. This is where Tcom Solutions can help. Our partners unique program can help you manage the complexities of technology management during your M&A.

Our team of experts can handle the entire realm of technology management from beginning to end, including tasks in many areas.
We can help with developing schedules, budgets, and RFPs; reviewing architectural plans; communicating with tradespeople;  discovery; password management; merging data; migrating emails; assessing risk; and much more.

Our Technology Program Management (TPM) forms a vital connection between IT and physical infrastructure, and is based on several key pillars ranging from technology integration to training and even overall project management. What’s more, we can customize our offering depending on your requirements.

Here are just a few areas in which we can help ensure the success of your M&A process:

• Due Diligence (pre-M&A) review
• Discovery and Integration of Internet/web/DNS presence
• Telecom discovery and consolidation
• Discovery and integration of end user devices and access methods
• Help Desk/Service Desk review, operations and handoff
• Full onboarding and offboarding of end user devices.
• Migration period IT support
• Merging operational applications
• Merging data from servers/cloud
• Merging internal communications platforms
• Passwords
• Standardizing on security tools
• Email migration
• Discovery and Communication of IT policies
• Security posture assessments
• Assessing network, physical and IT security risk

By offloading the operational responsibility of technology to us, your management can focus on making key strategic decisions  instead of being bogged down with the day-to-day operational responsibility of M&A.

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