Mergers are major milestones for any business. Even though a merger can be an exciting time and an incredible achievement, it’s not without risks. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) require immense effort to go from a paper plan to reality. Nowhere is this truer than in data management, where M&As present more difficulties and risks than anywhere else. Aparavi can help you avoid the headaches that tend to come with data during mergers.
Four Tips for Smooth Data Management During a Merger
Take Stock of the Situation
When two companies decide to join forces, they each have unique data ecosystems. Both companies might use different software which organizes data in different ways. They might keep their data on different kinds of devices or access that data through other means. Before you can try to merge the data from Company B into Company A’s workflow, you have to understand what you’re up against.
It’s virtually a guarantee that the company you merge with has heaps of dark data and unstructured data that you aren’t even aware of. How can you determine what data you need to keep and what data you can toss out? The easiest way is to scan both companies’ file systems using a smart platform that can automate the tedious task of tagging and classifying files.
You can’t manually parse the files of another company and expect success. Neither company knows the other well enough. Automation is the only solution. Our platform can parse all of your files and even unearth hidden data that lurks in the shadows. Once you’ve got a clear picture of what you’re dealing with, you can start planning your data merge.
Evaluate Your Data Storage Solution
Before you can successfully merge your data, you have to know where it’s going to live. Both companies likely have their own approach to data storage. Ideally, you’d have one for both of them going forward.
If you’re both running on traditional data servers in each location, it’s going to be difficult to unify your data. Both companies will have unique organizational structures for their data. A better solution would be to take advantage of this opportunity to implement cloud storage.
You’re going to need to use the cloud to transfer data between locations anyway, so having a cloud storage solution will make the merger easier. You could treat your brand new cloud storage as a new space where only the most valuable data from both companies goes. Regardless of the storage solution you choose, automation is needed to facilitate the shift into a single space for both businesses.
Not every bit of data needs to be merged. Even if your ultimate goal is to have all of your data in one place for everyone to use, you don’t have to get there overnight. Take your time and prioritize data based on how frequently used it is and how vital it is to daily operations. Identify data that could be helpful for workers from the other company to access.
If you had an automated platform installed before your merger, you’d know exactly which files you need because you could simply use powerful search tools to identify files based on whatever criteria you want. A couple of clicks and you’ve got all the files that were used in the last month ready to be relocated. You’ll save time, money, and spare yourself some headaches too.
One word of caution: Be careful to avoid creating data silos. It may be tempting to prioritize data mergers by department; that is, you join the data from both sales teams or both marketing departments. But this can lead to that data living in a silo where only those departments can get to it.
Determine New Permissions
With your battle plan ready, it’s time to merge your data. But getting all of your data in one place where everyone can see it is just part of the work. You also have to determine who can and cannot have access to these files. Loose permissions lead to data breaches and increased risk. Excessively strict permissions hinder business operations.
Manually assigning permissions is a pain. Opt for automation instead and make your data merge a breeze. You can create sets of access rules so that specific people can edit certain files, according to your criteria. It’s data management at its finest.
If you would like to see what Aparavi can do for your business and how we can make your merger less chaotic, reach out to us today and schedule a demonstration of our industry-leading platform.
Break down silos, make your data visible, and merge faster, all with Aparavi.