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Navigating M&A Challenges

Jul 05 2023

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are one of the levers used by executive teams to deliver on an organisation’s strategy. They present an opportunity to optimise business and operating models by reshaping product and service portfolios, as well as providing a fast-tracked method of market share growth. Despite the economic conditions of recent years, M&A activity has remained relatively steady across numerous sectors including fashion, retail, renewable energy, professional services, and automotive. PwC reports that while the number of megadeals may be lower than during the exceptional 2021 peak, mid-sized deals are keeping activity strong, and the consulting firm is predicting another upswing in the second half of 2023. 

Mergers and acquisitions bring with them significant challenges, demanding immense effort and resources from across both businesses. Amidst an already hefty workload, an M&A often forces the technology function of an organisation into challenging additional pressures as they work to safely and quickly onboard and integrate operations and employees. Yet, however critical, speed is not the only KPI. Despite meticulous analysis, M&A deals can bring unexpected surprises, requiring quick adjustments and revisions and making tactical agility equally crucial.

The Burden of M&A

Undertaking an M&A transaction can feel like a full-time job on top of an already overloaded schedule. Technology teams typically face staff shortages of around 10-15%, which already amplifies the strain felt by those in critical roles just trying to perform existing commitments. The demand for their expertise becomes even more pronounced during M&A activities and building trust between teams (bearing in mind they may feel they are competing for a single job in the longer term), is crucial for effective collaboration and, ultimately, successful results. Designing optimal processes, aligning on architecture and technology stacks, gaining organisational approvals, reporting risks, and safeguarding against cyber incidents all require meticulous planning and confidentiality.

Amidst the complex landscape of M&A, the Netskope platform emerges as a valuable asset, helping organisations overcome various challenges and unlock operational efficiencies. Let’s delve into the key value propositions it offers:

  • Discover all SaaS apps instantly: The Netskope platform enables enterprises to gain comprehensive visibility into all their software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, swiftly and effortlessly. This capability holds immense significance as it allows organisations to validate licence costs, identify potential liabilities, and address them promptly. By scoring third-party risks and assessing digital supply chain vulnerabilities, companies can make informed decisions about their technology stack and architecture. Moreover, having a holistic view of SaaS applications enables better threat protection by ensuring that no critical areas remain overlooked. Enhanced risk assessment and realistic integration efforts lead to more accurate cost estimates, uncovering hidden savings potentials.

    A large internet services company comments: “Netskope has helped us in many ways but specifically data visibility, data protection, and easy/faster mergers.”
  • Zero trust through transition: Onboarding large groups of users to an environment is a balancing act – where access is correlated to productivity but an overly permissive approach opens up risk. Netskope NPA is a zero trust network access tool which enables security teams to quickly provide cautious access on their own terms – terms that can be refined with increasing granularity as the requirements of the new employee groups become better understood. 

    As Julien Rossignol from Groupe Bel explains in a new case study: “We know that zero trust will be a vital consideration for our business, particularly when it comes to … onboarding new employees from acquired businesses, so NPA will be key for us there.”
  • Single pane of glass: With the Netskope platform, organisations can access all pertinent information from a single, unified interface. This centralised view eliminates potential disputes around data validity and allows teams to focus on the essence of the M&A process. By streamlining data access and analysis, the platform alleviates resource constraints, enabling teams to dedicate their efforts to more critical tasks.

    Roland Schoenauen, Head of IT at Creos explains: “We needed to simplify our architecture; get a single point of access”, and his colleague, security manager Raphaël Rose adds, “The strength of Netskope, for us, is the way it simplifies our architecture… we have a single point of access, a single client, and integrated threat and data protection.”
  • Fast deployment: The Netskope platform stands out for its swift deployment capabilities, with examples of successful transitions from competitive solutions within as short as a six-week timeframe. This rapid implementation saves valuable time and reduces outsourcing costs, enabling organisations to expedite the M&A process while maintaining operational continuity.

    A manager at a large North American internet company commented that: “Netskope solutions have been easy to set up, deploy, and maintain.”
  • Embracing the latest technology: By leveraging the Netskope platform, enterprises can take advantage of the most recent technological advancements. The platform offers a user-friendly experience, empowering users with intuitive features and interfaces. Furthermore, the platform’s future-proof nature ensures that organisations can seamlessly adapt and scale their operations for future M&A activities.

    Or, as a senior analyst in a large pharmaceutical company explained recently in user feedback: “Having Netskope in our environment has helped our team be ready for, and execute on, crucial actions before and during mergers.”

Mergers and acquisitions are complex endeavours that demand significant resources and careful planning. The Netskope platform provides invaluable support by offering instant discovery of SaaS applications, a zero trust access architecture, a unified view through a single pane of glass, rapid deployment, and access to the latest technology. Successfully navigating the challenges of M&A transactions means greater efficiencies (in both third party costs and team resource), enhanced risk assessment, and ultimately supporting enterprises to drive successful M&A outcomes and shape a robust and future-proof business landscape.

You can check out more customer comments about the way Netskope has supported M&A activity here. 

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Ilona Simpson
Ilona Simpson serves as Chief Information Officer EMEA for Netskope. A seasoned CIO, she brings to the table over 20 years’ experience of initiating and leading the implementation of new business / technology strategies and operating models. During her career, she has delivered value through all phases of a business: high growth, downturns, new business integration and divestments.

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