(US and Canada) Michael McCalmont, CIO, speaks with Tim Brooks, Managing Director, WWT about good data governance practices in M&A, and the importance of having a good team.

He says that a seamless merger and acquisition (M&A) activity requires agility, speed, change management, and all the other aspects associated with running a large initiative — and anything sizable requires augmentation of resources and identifying the gaps in the organization.

Sharing some tips for data governance and collaboration between merging organizations with different levels of data maturity, McCalmont says that the most important task is to separate the enterprises so that there is independence between the two. The second step is identifying the synergies between the organizations. Data plays a critical role in this step, and the maturity of the information in the two organizations must be understood before the information is merged.

Next is the cultural maturity difference between a fully data-driven company and a less mature one. The correct approach is to utilize the acquired organization’s basic footprint and upgrade it, include its commonality with the parent business, and introduce its best practices.

McCalmont notes that every M&A event is a chance to step back and re-evaluate architecture. He says that it is important to draw comparisons and determine a possible long-term state during the early planning stages.

When asked what role sustainability plays in M&A activity today, he explains that while sustainability has multiple definitions, it is an essential element in ensuring the effective use of the tools that best support the business.

In retrospect, what advice would he give his 25-year-old self?  Pay attention to the merging environments’ culture driving technology while considering the human element, and build a great team.

In conclusion, McCalmont says that a great team plays a key role in leaving a great legacy.