The IT integration challenge posed when organisations merge is still being overlooked in many instances of merger or acquisitions, according to research among the membership of the National Computing Centre.

The research found that half of respondents who had worked in the context of a newly merged organisation reported there had been no integration within three months, when the deadline for the merged entity to disclose consolidated financial information comes into effect

And it found that more than a third did not expect integration to be completed within two years following the M&A deal, or could not say when integration would be complete

Poor documentation of systems, a lack of metadata, diverse and uncontrolled data sources, and poor data quality were all reported as significant problems by more than half of respondents (54%).

And despite half of IT leaders saying they knew about the planned M&A 'months before' it happened, 37.5% said that a detailed plan for system integration wasn't put in place until 'months after.'

"The numbers paint a bleak picture of business leaders' understanding of time and complexity requirements of integrating vast amounts of data and applications," said Philip Howard, research director at Bloor Research. "M&A is often considered a salve in business. However, not understanding the requirements of integrating the multiple businesses can swiftly deem those mergers to failure."

The survey found that in many cases it was taking years before integration was achieved. 39.2% of respondents felt that it would take at least one year before 'all data would pull from integrated sources,' and some of those even said the task would take longer than two years.

The qualitative research, undertaken by Bloor Research for Informatica, sought to explore whether IT had any impact on the success of mergers and acquisitions by quizzing senior IT professionals about their M&A experiences in the past five years.

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