Merging Company Software
Merging two companies is a complicated task. You may have thought that computers help make the transition much smoother. This may be true in some respects, but on the other hand, computers also complicate things in some ways. It can be very difficult to reorganize the computerized systems of two separate companies into one smooth-running entity.
As an example of how computers complicate rather than simplify such mergers, we need only look at software. If each company has its own software programs, once the two companies merge, they now have many software programs that may not "speak" well with each other. Or perhaps the various programs duplicate functions and purposes. What is the merged company to do about this situation?
Should the company get rid of all systems and buy yet another program, or is it possible to rework all the programs into one whole that is better than the sum of its varied parts? Researchers at Sweden's Mälardalen University are working to find the answers to these questions along with the solutions to these sticky business software situations.
Malardalen University's Rikard Land who is affiliated with this institution's Department of Computer Science and Electronics made the topic his thesis entitled: "How to Succeed with In-House Software Systems Integration and Merge—Observations concerning Architecture and Process."
Land discussed two modern merger trends that can be observed. One trend has to do with the general increase in the use of software which has become indispensable as an aid to performing work tasks. The second trend has to do with constant structural and organizational changes in businesses and their systems as a result of mergers and the reorganization these mergers entail.
Land says that as we become dependent on specific software systems, the constant evolution of businesses and systems create a problem in which newcomers or workers who have moved to a different department within a company find it difficult to adapt to unfamiliar software. Some may not how to make use of the software, while others may not know the most beneficial way to use these heretofore unknown systems.
The aim of Land's thesis is to offer case studies of companies who have faced just these situations. Besides detailing the dilemmas, Land offers advice on how to assess the software situation. Just getting a handle on the problems may show the way to solutions.
Land's idea is to prioritize the software issues and then examine what steps might be taken to correct the situation. Land also suggests that software architecture must be reworked to give it more flexibility, allow it to grow with technological trends, and make it adaptable to assorted computer models.