Navigating The Minefield Of Data Management During M&A

By Praveen Kumar- Deal volumes in the Asia Pacific are on the up. According to PwC, the region’s share of global mergers and acquisitions (M&A) continues to increase – buoyed by some USD600 billion from Private Equity (PE). This being the case, a smooth transition rests on the ability to store, manage, control and replicate data between the mainframe, on-premises software, and public cloud platforms in real time.

While the importance of effective data integration during an acquisition or merger is widely acknowledged, however, executing this process amidst the complexities of an M&A deal can pose significant challenges. There may be pressure to consolidate some of the new data they’ve acquired to better manage and glean straightforward insights. But resisting that notion is critical.

Finding synergy
The fundamental question during an M&A is how can this new organization draw strength from more data rather than get bogged down by it? After all, managing data during the M&A process can be overwhelming. With proper management as challenging as it is, organizations run the risk of unorganized and displaced data. The answer lies in the ability to store, manage, control and replicate data between the mainframe, on-premises software, and public cloud platforms in real time. This will provide impetus to tap into innovation, no matter how large the data set or how quickly it needs to be integrated.

Simply put, on-premises systems, like mainframes, must be integrated with cloud platforms to best manage influxes of data. With a wide range of varying data, the ability to leverage the reliability, data integrity, and scalability of the mainframe with the accessibility and collaborative benefits of the cloud is the best solution for overall visibility and control. For this to be possible, data integration tools must also allow access to and replicate data from intricate mainframes, preserving the value of historical data. As an added advantage, this hybrid approach also primes the business to dismantle data silos.

Achieving synchronicity
Organizations also grapple with making sense of the data that comes to IT all at once during an M&A. This ever-expanding volume of data offers an opportunity to boost decision-making – the caveat, however, is that it must be up-to-date and synchronized across systems. And therein lies the root cause of the problem.

Many an M&A gets embroiled because of the lack of real-time synchronization capabilities. As a result, business’ storage systems can’t ensure that data reflects their operational realities, running the risk of IT teams being misinformed by outdated data. Through real-time data syncing, organizations can run historical, on-premises data for cloud- based AI and ML analytics. This is a significant boon, as these datasets are especially important but tend to go underutilized amid competing priorities during an acquisition.

Enabling development success
Well-managed and up-to-date data is also crucial for software development, especially regarding quality assurance (QA) testing of companies’ applications. As the M&A progresses, DevOps practices will invariably be leveraged for software development – which means testing applications in isolated environments is not fit for purpose.

Teams must therefore integrate up-to-date data into the testing process to replicate real-world scenarios, which ensures that software functions as expected under various conditions. Using realistic data sets during testing allows teams to validate application performance, security, and user experience more effectively. It also enables proactive issue identification, leading to faster bug detection, reduced development time, and an overall enhancement of application performance.

Undoubtedly, integrating extensive datasets during an M&A can be quite intimidating. That’s why the key is to ensure data can be efficiently stored, overseen, governed, and duplicated across mainframe systems, on-site infrastructure, and public cloud platforms. That, then, allows innovation to be unlocked even during the upheaval of an acquisition.

The author is the Vice President for Asia Pacific, Rocket Software

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