November 13, 2008

Information Technology in Mergers, Acquisitions (M&A) and Joint Ventures (JVs)

With the world economy undergoing a trough, most often people (in the business of IT) tell me -
Oh, we are going through tough times...while some of my customers are more resistant to new initiatives, some have declared really negative earnings for this quarter. I believe we need to wait and just let this period pass through...but again, the pressure build's up from my bosses!

This was actually told by a acquaintance of mine. I'm not surprised by this, as I've heard many others say this too. Echoing these words a few more times makes things more lucid than what it actually sounds like. As I've always believed in, every challenge comes with a set of opportunities.

Since the past few years, one would have noticed the change in way businesses across the world starting looking at the market. We've seen a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and joint ventures (JVs) happening across the different businesses. The resulting IT complexity has always been a challenging task for CIOs and other IT leaders of these businesses. What better news can IT vendors get? There is a CIO who is crying "It's a mess - HELP ME OUT!"

This is the time when IT vendors need to wear the innovator's hat. These times are the ones that offer utmost opportunities to IT solution vendors. India is a garden of such opportunities especially in the manufacturing space. From automotive to petroleum to steel industries, all companies are eying India as a preferred destination for setting up shop. Unlike the past, international players are looking at setting up joint ventures with Indian companies that helps them enter a new market in many ways.

On the other hand, Indian biggies are acquiring companies in other parts of the world. This has resulted in the merging of companies due to acquisitions, which again has posed considerable challenge to the IT heads of these companies. M&As are more than just two corporate entities merging. It's about merging of cultures, merging of values, merging of corporate and IT governance models.

So, in a nutshell, to an IT leader, such market moves (M&As and JVs) mean more than just "IT" integration. In my next article I would be diving a little bit deeper into this topic to talk about SOA in the context of manufacturing. Till then, stay tuned!
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