6 CIO responsibilities during M&As

In mergers and acquisitions, both big and small, healthcare organizations need to determine the role of the CIO in the upcoming processes, especially as the importance of technology and informatics in organizations grows.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the board and CEO of the acquiring company often turn to the CIO to facilitate the merging of technology of the two companies.

Here are six performance and cost issues CIOs handle during M&As.

1. Inventory: Compiling an inventory of software licenses and service agreements for both companies should be a priority. This will help the CIO identify duplicate or redundant licenses, which can then be removed and ultimately lead to cost savings.

2. Software survival: Not every software implementation will remain viable with a merger or acquisition, but deciding which ones to maintain are critical. "Which software systems survive after the merger can be the most difficult and potentially the most courageous decision the CIO will make during the merger process," according to the report, specifically if a CIO who has just led a software implementation needs to ditch that one because the acquiring organization has a better one.

3. Transferability: Software licenses can't always be transferred from one organization to another and can become costly line items.

4. Scope of use: Additionally, some software licenses restrict the number of servers, users or devices that can use the software. CIOs may have to change the license or pay fees for additional use.

5. Termination: Some agreements and contracts will need to be terminated, requiring the CIO to navigate early termination policies and provisions.

6. System downtime. While CIOs will want to work quickly to get the new systems up and running, it is in their best interest to conduct due diligence and conduct full risk assessments to avoid any potential system failures.

More articles on CIOs:

CFOs taking on IT roles: Is this trend headed for healthcare?
More CIOs could face legal consequences following data breaches
50 benchmarks, stats and data points for CIOs to know

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