Peter Hall is an IBRS advisor who covers Enterprise Infrastructure and Management, managing vendor and customer relationships and contracts, vendor capabilities and vendor offerings. Peter is also experienced in Start-Up’s and Mergers and Acquisitions. Peter has over 35 years of experience working in the IT sector in ANZ and Asia Pacific, gaining invaluable insights into vendor offerings and strategies, relationship management, and channel strategies. Peter’s an experienced executive having worked for Hewlett-Packard, Blade Network Technologies (acquired by IBM in 2010), IBM and Lenovo. Peter is also an accredited Tony Buzan Licensed Instructor in Mind Mapping.
Conclusion: The blending of different corporate cultures can be a huge risk factor that can significantly impact the success or failure of an acquisition. Maintaining multiple corporate cultures is extremely difficult to do, and the chances of failure are high. Cultures usually have upsides and downsides. When trying to keep cultures separate, employees tend to only see the “upsides” of what their peers have, and downside issues undermine employee morale due to feelings that they are not being treated fairly or equally.
It is IBRS’s view that ultimately efforts to have two conflicting corporate cultures coexist after an acquisition are likely to fail over time. The most dominant culture will ultimately be the culture of the organisation and employees who did not sign up for that culture will look for exit opportunities.
05 March 2019
Conclusion: Organisations develop unique cultures. It may be a deliberate and conscious effort of the executive team to define and put in place a culture which will influence the way the organisation works, its priorities and its attitudes. Or it may just be something that has evolved over time as an organisation has grown, added more employees, expanded its business, or entered new markets or geographies.
Acquisitions often occur based on external opportunities, such as growing market share, improving product offerings or gaining a competitive advantage. But it can be the internal issues of how similar or dissimilar the two corporate cultures are that can really impact the potential success of the acquisition.
If the corporate cultures are very different, care needs to be taken to understand this, and develop specific action and change management plans to support the merging of the cultures. This is significant as the impact of a culture change may hurt the acquired organisation which could reduce the capability of the acquired organisation, and perhaps the morale of the employees, resulting in high employee turnover.
04 February 2019
Conclusion: Given the frequency of acquisitions within the information technology (IT) sector, it is prudent that clients of the organisations involved spend time to consider the possible outcomes or consequences of the acquisition, and in particular if the outcomes are likely to be good or bad news for them.
Acquisitions are likely to always involve changes in staff. The staff most at risk of being made redundant are usually in non-client-touching administration roles, such as finance, supply or HR. What clients do need to think about are possible changes to key technical or product development teams, as well as key staff that they deal with on a regular basis.
The other area where impacts may be felt is in the future direction of ongoing product development, with outcomes that can again be positive or negative for clients.
07 January 2019
Conclusion: Acquisitions are a frequent occurrence amongst information and communication technology (ICT) vendors and solution providers. The outcomes of an acquisition or merger will impact clients as well as the employees of the organisations.
Clients and employees should invest in thinking about the announced acquisitions, what the stated goals are for the acquisition, and what exactly might be the reasons and likely outcomes of the acquisition. Whilst clients and employees are unlikely to be able to influence an acquisition being completed, it may be in their interest to take steps to help secure their own position, to either capitalise on the opportunities or reduce the risk of any possible negative outcomes.
03 December 2018
Conclusion: When scanning the market to find new solutions or vendors, it is usual to consider who else uses the solutions, the size of the organisation and their customer base. Vendors often publish examples of clients that use their solutions, and particularly like highlighting those clients that represent well-known global or local brands.
Whilst being nice to know, the details provided are usually very shallow, and should never be relied on in terms of influencing a buying decision. It will take a significant effort to get any details that may actually help a project team, and in many cases, the detail will simply not be available.
03 November 2018
Conclusion: Whilst many organisations in Australia cite the lack of available IT skills to be a threat to their future growth or ability to complete digital transformation initiatives, Australia has a large often untapped pool of potential employees in candidates on the autism spectrum.
It is estimated that around 60 to 80 per cent of employable adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle to find full time or steady employment, and those that do find employment are often underemployed, that is, employed in roles below their educational or professional level1. Recently tech companies have recognised this opportunity, and programs underway in Australia are successfully identifying, recruiting and supporting individuals on the autism spectrum with the potential to excel particularly in testing, data science and cyber security roles. All are high growth areas for employment.
- Sourcing & Staffing
05 October 2018
Conclusion: Technology leaders in organisations brought together through a merger or acquisition (M&A) play an extremely important role and can significantly impact the potential economic benefits and success of the M&A. IT needs to align with the business units to understand how the business units are going to align or change through the M&A. IT must then develop plans and execute on appropriate IT strategies to support the new organisation.
M&As provide organisations with the opportunity to rationalise, deduplicate, and modernise especially in the areas of applications, data, infrastructure and facilities.
Whilst keeping the existing systems operational, IT should set up specific integration teams, to quickly develop the direction and priorities that will be of most importance and value to the new integrated organisation.
05 September 2018
Conclusion: Strategic thinking, planning and problem solving often involve bringing together a team of knowledgeable contributors who need to analyse, debate, discuss and decide on key issues around the topic they are trying to address. Mind mapping can be a powerful technique for helping to stimulate the ideas, plan actions, and even communicate the output of the thinking.
- Governance & Planning
02 August 2018
Conclusion: Mind mapping is a tool that facilitates “whole-brain” thinking. It is a technique that can be applied to all forms of the thought process, particularly to memory, creativity and learning. Within an organisation, the use of mind mapping as a visual and graphic thinking tool can help improve business processes and practices, solve problems, improve decision making, rethink strategies, set goals or simply improve the day-to-day efficiency of working within the organisation.
By encouraging and training individuals and teams within organisations to utilise mind mapping, organisations can benefit by improving thinking processes and developing daily habits that improve productivity and outcomes.
- Governance & Planning
05 July 2018
Conclusion: A requirement of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the concept of “data portability”, which provides a right to receive personal data an individual has provided in a “structured, commonly used, machine-readable format”, and to transmit that data to another organisation.
Underlying data portability is an assumption that data standards exist and are widely used across all public and private sector organisations, especially in specific vertical industries, such as Financial Services, Health or Utilities. In many cases in Australia, no such standards exist and there is no framework to encourage industry cooperation.
Australian organisations needing to comply with GDPR will have to develop an approach and strategy to how they will provide data portability when requested to do so.
- Governance & Planning
01 June 2018