Senior European business executives are not considering the importance of IT integration when undertaking corporate mergers, research released today has claimed.
According to the Accenture survey, more than a third of UK and European IT executives rank IT integration as the most critical factor in the success of a merger, compared with only a quarter of non-IT business executives.
Instead, UK and European business executives rank cultural integration and adaptability (33 per cent) and management and leadership (31 per cent) as more important merger success factors.
The study also revealed some distinct differences in the level of involvement and experience of UK and European IT managers in the integration process when compared with counterparts in the US.
While 43 per cent of US IT executives indicated that they are 'extremely involved' in integration planning, only 15 per cent of European IT executives claim the same level of interaction.
Similarly in the US, a third of IT executives said that their IT team is 'extremely experienced' in integration planning. Only four per cent of IT executives surveyed in Europe see the same level of team expertise.
"The survey findings call into question the degree of alignment that exists between IT and business executives during merger planning and integration," said Andrew Morlet, a partner in Accenture's Strategic IT Effectiveness practice.
"This is critical because, if the two groups are not fully aligned on business synergies and how they will be measured, potential value is lost.
"We have identified that high-performing companies successfully align these two groups and as a result see productivity improvements and their IT systems delivering greater value."
The survey also found executives in the UK and Europe far less likely to call their post-merger IT integration an 'overwhelming success'. Only five per cent of European business managers, and just 13 per cent of IT executives surveyed, ranked their post-merger IT integration as 'extremely successful'.
The top impediments to the success of IT integration were ranked by both parties as cultural integration and infrastructure compatibility.
On a positive note, there were a number of areas of agreement between European IT and business managers about IT integration. Both agreed that a successful IT integration would take into consideration decisions about strategy, operating models and processes.
The survey queried 334 IT and business executives throughout the UK, Europe and the US with experience in mergers and acquisitions about the role of IT in the integration process.
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