Eyes Wide Open: Valuations Are Vital to M&A Data Migration

Robust, accurate and intuitive assessments will provide greater visibility for better project scope when performing an M&A data migration.

For any data migration or IT project, a precise definition of the project scope is critical to success. Whether you are an IT service provider trying to assess a project for the end customer or an internal IT professional trying to do it for your organization, you need to understand what you are working with to make an accurate project estimate.

Here are some key questions to address before a migration:

  • Which users should be moved?
  • What are the different technologies involved in the project?
  • Are there any third party tools that should be used?
  • Who will have access to critical data and to what extent?

Answering these questions is especially vital in mergers and acquisitions, where there are many unknowns about merging IT environments, and proper data migration is essential. Inevitably, it is common to find decision makers who have only elements and parts of the required information, rendering their project scope incomplete. To understand the scope of the project and the disparate elements involved, you have to make an effort to essentially “know the unknown”.

See also: How to use APIs to make it easier to navigate business mergers

Critical Reviews and Discovery

Assessments can provide a complete view of your existing IT environment and mitigate the threat of the unknown. The increased level of knowledge can result in more accurate project planning, better estimate of project costs, and significantly speed up the project schedule. With greater visibility, there is less room for surprises or the element of the unknown on the surface.

An in-depth discussion of how the many factors surrounding merger and acquisition directly influence your migration approach should take place early in the process. The acquiring organization, for example, will need to access a variety of information to make decisions about the data. The project requires much more than the migration of mailboxes and user teams – there are a multitude of policies that will be transferred. This can be a good opportunity for the IT household. In some cases, there may be data that you do not want to move because it is no longer needed and could lead to additional liabilities or costs.

For security reasons, you should understand and address any threats or users whose accounts have been compromised before moving to the new environment. Passwords should be reset and threats should be dealt with proactively so that they are not reported. On the positive side, a thorough assessment can reveal a Well problem: discovering a vast branch of information or data points that you might not expect and that will not be left unanswered.

The challenges of M&A data migration

Among the unique challenges of M&A migration projects, the process will raise questions about security and access to information. In some M&A scenarios, the IT consolidation process may begin before the merger or acquisition is complete, creating a slippery slope in terms of permissions to grant data access while still meeting requirements. security of the organization.

The acquiring company will need information and data to properly prepare and assess and define the scope of the migration project. Not having all the necessary information can hamper communication and collaboration around the project.

It is enviable to bring a full assessment and understanding of a particular environment so that the discovery of the project is as deep as possible and nothing is overlooked. But from a security perspective, as access is gained into the environment, IT staff should remain aware of the data they are leaving behind in the old environment and the security risks that they are leaving behind in the old environment. this could present. It’s essential not to miss a floating OneDrive, misaligned permissions and configurations, or email forwarding rules left behind in the old environment. Certain credentials must be provided to ensure that all old data is archived, retired, or destroyed.

Other income opportunities

For service providers, project scoping can go a long way in establishing competitive differentiation and helps them win migration projects that are tendered. In particular, evaluations help to mitigate the dreaded creep scope and modify orders.

A real benefit for service providers who can size migration projects wisely is having multiple ways of generating revenue and creating a “buy-in” for customers. Adding and implementing different types of cloud assessments across a customer portfolio – to help improve security, license optimization, productivity, or usability – can help service providers gain value. new professional services projects around migration. Plus, allowing your sales organization to add and implement these long-term assessments and services provides an easy, non-invasive way to monitor a customer’s environment. This can help proactively resolve any challenges or potential issues for the end customer – and hopefully lead to long-term engagement.

Best practices, strong evaluations

Keep in mind that there are a myriad and often complex moving elements in any migration, let alone between the companies that merge. Strong, accurate and intuitive assessments will ultimately provide greater visibility for better project scope while mitigating the threat of the unknown and scope drift. Leveraging these reviews for project scoping will help ensure your project’s success while mitigating unwanted surprises.

Sean N. Ayres