In this quarter’s Expert Corner, our leaders weigh in on companies finding comfort in the integration process after a merger or acquisition, clients surviving system failure, and thinking and speaking with data.

Finding Comfort in Change

Wayne Tung, Partner

Wayne Expert CornerWhat is keeping you up at night?

Frankly, I’m always preoccupied with the uneasiness my clients experience when beginning the integration process after a merger or acquisition. People generally have some discomfort with change, which is human nature, ranging from minor apprehension to fear. And in the business world, this discomfort is evident in every M&A deal, especially in the post-merger integration phase.

How are your clients addressing these concerns?

Our clients who have successfully managed M&A integration started by acknowledging the discomfort experienced throughout both entities. They commit to planning and executing continuous communications in an open, honest way with understanding of people’s discomfort. Frequent assessment of people’s reactions and views through surveys and informal discussions allow for communication adjustments. When these views and concerns are addressed, clients experienced smoother post-merger integration.

What advice would you give to leaders facing these challenges?

Communicating with honesty and transparency is key to minimizing the discomfort at both the acquiring and acquired entity. To do so:

  • Understand the objectives of the acquisition
  • Assess and carefully consider the culture of both entities
  • Deliver frequent communication to all impacted parties with clear messaging around the objectives, changes, and plans, being mindful of the culture of both entities when crafting communication
  • “Close the loop” and obtain frequent feedback on people’s views, adjusting communications accordingly

Wayne is a Partner with Sendero. His 17-year career includes substantial experience in global strategic sourcing, procurement, outsourcing, technology strategy, technology assessment & implementation, business process transformation, and business analysis.

Questions about Finding Comfort in Change? Email Wayne


Surviving System Failure

Jason Haines, Senior Manager

Jason HainesWhat is keeping you up at night?

I’m concerned that my clients may not have the appropriate disaster recovery processes or technologies in place to survive a significant system failure or meet the evolving regulatory availability requirements of the market. With the emerging market of high-availability solutions and abundance of cloud offerings, the option to pursue a more robust solution for protecting critical systems is now available at an affordable price; yet, many still do not invest. The question my clients always ask is: “How can I maximize the availability of my systems in the event of a failure or extended maintenance activity?”

How are your clients addressing these concerns?

To better support their customers, our clients are investing in new technologies that promote a higher level of availability to the systems and data that support their business. These technologies allow our clients more flexibility when performing maintenance by orchestrating the movement of critical systems around system failures. This type of solution is becoming more prevalent in the market because it enables companies to better communicate with their customers by maximizing system availability and minimizing the number of outage-related alerts. To maintain the solution, we have helped our clients create contemporary IT playbooks with repeatable processes that sustain the availability of systems in the case of planned or unplanned events.

What advice would you give to leaders facing these challenges?

The idea of “Disaster Recovery” is evolving – customers, and therefore our clients, are beginning to expect an always-on, always-available solution. This means the way we think about and deliver disaster recovery also needs to evolve. With the emerging technologies and available cloud offerings, there are multiple ways to maximize the availability of your systems, but some may be a poor fit for your business. Before you invest heavily in a new technology solution, spend the necessary time to ensure the solution you choose aligns with the goals and objectives of your business.

Senior Manager Jason Haines has more than a decade of experience helping clients manage IT Transformation and Disaster Recovery programs.

Questions about Surviving System Failure? Email Jason

Thinking, Analyzing, and Speaking with Data

Scott Miller, Senior Partner

Scott MillerWhat is keeping you up at night?

One of our client CEOs recently expressed frustration with his company’s culture, moving it towards one where their executives and managers “think, analyze and speak with data.” Too often he found his senior leaders made critical decisions based only on their instincts, or on their past experiences and not inclusive of the data available to them; they were not using the data to uncover insights that help improve decision making. As we see in many cases, it was just too easy for them to fall back on the way decisions had always been made.

How are your clients addressing these concerns?

Many clients are taking an incremental approach on their journey to democratizing data and promoting data-driven decision making. Helping everybody to access and understand data (a.k.a. data democratization) is often a cultural shift that requires a “top down” approach with the initial step being the development of key operational metrics and performance indicators that tie back to the organization’s goals and objectives. The next step is building executive level dashboards that become the “golden” source for these measures to provide insights into operational and financial performance. Once the executive team is accustomed to reviewing, discussing and debating the implications of the data, and leveraging it for daily decision making, it’s time to push these behaviors to lower levels of the organization.

What advice would you give to leaders facing these challenges?

The process of thinking, analyzing and speaking with data is the first and most difficult step on a data journey for an organization. In addition to the cultural and behavioral transformation that must occur to change the mindset of leaders, organizations must also put in place the right solution and infrastructure to deliver data and its associated insights. These types of initiatives are very complex and time consuming. It is best to take an incremental approach to build out the necessary components of a holistic data and analytics environment, all the while leveraging self-service tools to enable the organization to develop the analytics behaviors that allow them to think, analyze and speak with data.

Senior Partner Scott Miller is an Information Technology Leader with broad experience in a variety of industry and consulting environments. He has more than 25 years of experience in leading management and technology consulting engagements across industries, with an emphasis in utility, oil and gas, financial services, and consumer packaged goods.

Questions about Using Data? Email Scott