Although IT plays a significant role in keeping businesses running smoothly, it’s unfortunately often an afterthought during acquisitions of senior living communities. Of course, the success of an acquisition doesn’t rest solely on IT, but taking steps early in the process to improve integration can certainly prevent pitfalls and deliver a smoother transition. Here are some key factors to consider when merging IT departments during an acquisition.
Key IT Factors to Consider in Senior Living Community Acquisitions
Effective communication between your existing and new IT teams should be a top priority during acquisition. Keeping lines of communication open helps to streamline decision-making processes and minimize any confusion or delays in the transition. Additionally, having regularly scheduled meetings or check-ins will help keep everyone up to date on progress made toward successful integration. The “new” IT team should request to participate in calls or meetings involving IT to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Doing due diligence on the acquired senior living community, including its IT infrastructure, shouldn’t be an overlooked step. This includes researching the current IT infrastructure, from components such as servers, databases, and networks, down to applications necessary for operations. Failure to obtain a clear understanding of the existing IT setup can cause costly problems later on. For example, if an unsupported or outdated software platform lacks upgrade capabilities, new executive directors may face the need for expensive system replacements. Investing time upfront in examining the existing IT infrastructure will help save time and money further down the road.
During the transition period, set objectives and the associated timeline, deliverables, and roles and responsibilities. It’s important to ensure that everyone on the existing and new IT teams of the acquired senior living community is in sync and collaborating to avoid unnecessary complications.
Formulating a plan for integration is essential to ensuring success. It’s also important to consider staff capabilities and availability, as well as budget restrictions. Once these initial steps have been taken, establish a timeline for objectives and milestones. Take into account the resources and talents when combining the IT teams. With careful consideration and collaboration, this integration process can go smoothly and result in a stronger combined company, offering improved IT services in a much more efficient manner.
To be fully prepared for the transition, new IT staff members should request from the existing IT team the following:
- New account numbers for phone, Internet, and cable providers
- A list of authorized users
- Asset list (all devices should be labeled and correspond to responsible individuals)
When integrating IT teams during an acquisition, it is important to be aware that potential problems may arise. Introducing change can be frustrating if all stakeholders aren’t prepared or don’t communicate effectively. Preparing for any complications will ensure a smoother transition period. Before implementation even begins, brainstorm scenarios and resolutions that could be beneficial. If a problem does arise, having a plan of action in place will help minimize disruption.
Remember, to avoid problems, don’t be afraid to ask questions! The more information about the systems and services, the better. Here are some great questions to ask:
- What are the IT challenges for this senior living community (slow internet, outdated computers, etc.)?
- What are the current contracts, and do you want to keep the same providers?
- What changes can be made to save money?
- Do you have any bulk deals, such as phone/Internet/cable packages?
- How does your ticketing system work?
RSN Technologies Ensures Successful IT Integrations of Acquired Senior Living Communities
At RSN Technologies, IT for senior living communities is what we do. We have experience with acquisitions and know exactly what’s required for smooth transitions among new and existing IT teams. Contact us today to learn how we can partner with your senior living community!