While many business processes are automated, use big data analytics and digital assistants, we seem to run M&A processes like it is 1999. Imagining what is possible today, we are on the verge of disruption in M&A.
What is needed?
Here is the list of requirements to massively digitize the M&A process:
end-to-end process support from early phases to end of the integration project,
Digital learning for M&A knowledge,
Semantic analysis of available data of acquirer and target and then leverage the semantic data to navigate the data via assistive technologies, like automatic analysis of legal documents,
assistive technologies like chatbots, robotic process automation and digital assistants that help managers watch risks, ask the right questions and propose proper next steps,
big data analytics: data rooms are a large data set, so why dig through it manually?,
Use of forensic technologies for understanding and investigating data room content
Automate IT due diligence by using scanners for analysis of networks, applications and interfaces,
Automatically analyse content of existing ERP systems for due diligence, merger integration and migration of ERP systems.
What is already digital?
Learning: see PMI2GO: digital online learning for post merger integration
Data rooms: Trusted file stores for due diligence are digital. But is file store digitalization driven far enough? No. Not yet.
Process digitalization: There are M&A process tools that allow partial automation of management tasks. But do we get digitalization with chatbots, assistive technology based on machine learning? No. Not yet.
The opportunities are massive but are not yet leveraged. I think the M&A community has to provide guidance to vendors to achieve a vision i call the Digital M&A Manifesto. Stay tuned for more details.