How organizations model their acquisition and divestiture – a real life example


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Marc Lankhorst
Posted by Marc Lankhorst on Jun 6, 2017

In my previous blog I wrote about the importance of models to successfully complete a merger, acquisition or divestiture. Of course, one organization’s divestiture may be another one’s acquisition. In this blog post I’ll share one my personal experiences as a consultant, supporting two government agencies that were in the middle of this process.

In the recent past, I have been involved with a government agency in the healthcare domain that had to transfer a substantial part of its tasks to another agency. This required them first to gain a clear understanding of their business processes and application landscape. The next step was to define where the cut would be made, and it turned out that a substantial part of the IT landscape needed to be duplicated, in particular around the financial systems. However, the data involved needed to be separated cleanly, where compliance with privacy regulations was a major constraint.

At the receiving end, these processes, IT systems and data needed to ‘land’ on the infrastructure and be integrated with the existing organization. And because the tasks involved require extensive cooperation with other parties, both within and outside the government, this handover of tasks also entailed a major transfer of external interfaces with these parties.

The use of ArchiMate models by both organizations was very helpful in this whole process. This provided a clear view of the architecture, and allowed for analyzing the numerous projects in this migration program and their dependencies, identifying the applications that needed to be duplicated, defining the interfaces to the outside world that needed to be transferred, assessing the risks involved, and much more.

Both organizations use BiZZdesign’s software, which further facilitated this transfer. For example, color views and heat maps of the application landscape were used extensively by both teams. These were used to highlight, for example, which projects worked on which applications, which lead them to uncover white spots in the landscape that no project was taking care of, and applications that were in scope for multiple projects. The figure below shows an (anonymized and simplified) example of this, showing an application landscape with a color view depicting the projects involved with each application. You see for example that several projects deal with the “FIN” application. These need to be planned very carefully to avoid them running into each other.

Blog-M&A-How-Organizations-image1.png


Another use was to show the different phases (plateaus) in the migration program, which helped to analyze dependencies between projects based on the applications they were taking care of. For example, some applications had to be moved in the same phase, because of their mutual connections or shared data. The program management made extensive use of these and other reports in planning, managing and controlling the program, and the architects involved found the models indispensable to foster a smooth transfer of processes, systems and data.

This is just one example from my personal experience. At BiZZdesign, we have extensive experience with the use of our software in the context of M&A and divestiture. The fact sheet you can download below contains several other examples.

Independent research confirms this. As witnessed by Gartner’s report on Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Architecture Tools, Enterprise Studio scores best in class for making smarter decisions faster, where C-level, business managers, EA teams, strategy team, PMO, PPM, and others collaborate in analysis and decision support on strategic initiatives. M&A and divestiture are prime examples of this, and Enterprise Studio’s support can really make a difference here.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures

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