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We can deliver the support and advice that private equity or corporate investors need to execute their M&A and change programmes by conducting due diligence, advising management and investors on migration strategies and executing post-deal integration or separation plans.
We have past the point where the number of mobile devices on the planet is greater than the number of people, and yet technology analysis and diligence can still be as narrow as "reporting on the age of an IT system and what its continuity risk is". Technology has become more resilient, faster, scalable and agile.
Grant Thornton has developed a commercially focussed approach to the delivery of value and the management of technology in deals to realise business performance and value. We recognise that all too often the advice around technology lacks commercial rigour and is focused on theoretical, technical issues, rather than a true business agenda. Our approach focuses on the business plan and commercial goals of management interpreting the impact of technology on the business. It also recognises that with the growth of digital, mobile and ecommerce as fundamental business elements, traditional risk and cost analysis means most established analysis is outdated.
In a deal environment, risks and issues associated with information systems can potentially affect deal value or complexity. An IT due diligence exercise can provide an acquirer with information to further influence the negotiation process to their advantage, and in post-deal situations effective integration or separation of systems can seriously enhance operational success and return on investment.
Our services include:
Value based technology due diligence
Technology diligence needs to begin by understanding the acquisition plan, the value drivers and the potential of technology before any consideration of 'fit for purpose' can be reasonably made – our approach reflects this.
We use a structured framework to review technology, using the four aspects which drive technology value, commercial intent, project execution, cost performance and technology risks. As outlined, our approach starts with the business plan and its value drivers, this ensures that technology is reviewed as a business enabler and valuable asset rather than as a few technical components. This enables management to identify and target the effort of their own team and any specialist advisors engaged.
At Grant Thornton UK LLP our approach is to use experienced technology professionals comprising a team of ex CIOs and CTOs.
Technology integration needs to balance business risk, technology goals, pragmatism and project priorities to deliver a successful programme and business benefits.
As part of the diligence phase and assessment of technology structure, Grant Thornton UK helps provide structure to any bolt on activity. We consider the dependencies of business intent, the impact of synergy benefit plans and influential goals over the staging and scope of IT activities.
The approach of confirming the deal thesis in advance of the IT agenda is a critical step. Our diagnostic provides a detailed structure to analyse the technology integration issues across the four key value drivers. This addresses the challenges of creating clarity on the gap analysis and generating actionable outcomes.
IT separation (or carve outs) typically impacts deal value, deal complexity, operational performance, transition execution timescales and total costs. It directly touches all parts of the transition and is often central to the realisation of deal benefits.
Experience across markets and industries has shown that technology does not get as much attention as general business operations. Yet, it is often identified as a key contributor towards the failure of a transition:
- impacting the deal value
- impacting the separation from a parent organisation
- being a source of hidden problems
- potentially having significant one off costs
We can help by
- creating crystal clear carve-out plans with specific objectives and managing the entire transition period in order to avoid any business downtime or financial impact
- understanding potential issues and the impact of technology across the business early on, providing a range of benefits that enable the delivery and realisation of value within the pre and post deal phase of the transaction
- evaluating separation plans, ensuring they are aligned with the due diligence phase of activity, or based on developing management separation plans
- forming a robust and executable plan using the Grant Thornton UK LLP developed process, project management solutions, tools and templates.
Full potential planning
Our approach to full potential planning consists of working at Board and company level to optimise elements that impact value in each business.
Experience in previous assignments with portfolio managers and across global corporations has shown that technology is increasingly considered as a significant business and performance driver:
- impacting on the deal value
- delaying benefits and business growth
- containing hidden costs
- suffering from poor project delivery
- distracting management from running the business
We can help by
- assessing value chain drivers, business components and processes in a joined up approach to avoid operational risk
- utilising a proactive and continuous approach to drive improved portfolio performance
- identifying value improvement opportunities through our diagnostic tools and the skills of experienced senior staff allow for an in-depth portfolio assessment in a short time frame
- demystifying IT and the benefits of technology
- delivering actionable plans and implementing them
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