Executive Summary - Inherent Challenges in Merging Two Separate Organizations' Networks

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When planning the merger between Myrtle & Associates and Bellview Law Group, to one firm called MAB Law Firm, foresight is needed so that possible issues can be seen, addressed as best as possible, and limit the integration costs as it relates to the information technology infrastructure of both firms into one site. Differences between the two firms' infrastructure include two different sets of network operating systems, servers, network connectivity, workstations, software, security configurations and policies.

Scope creep and exponential increase in merger cost can occur if a migration plan for the technology integration is not generated along with an exit strategy in the event that the merger does not go as plan. Merger cost will be related to infrastructure changes, application upgrades, and personnel training.

One of the major challenges in merging the two firms involves the existing case management systems, one of which is a legacy application. Legacy applications and data have been inherited from languages, platforms, and techniques earlier than current technology. A plan needs to be developed for the migration of data from the legacy case management system to the web-based case management system. Until a final solution is achieved, the systems can run in parallel. Personnel would need to be trained on the web-based case management system and the way in which they access the data such as via smartphones.

While the networks are being integrated, the merged firm, MAB Law Firm, may experience unproductive periods where the systems may not be available to conduct meaningful work which will impact the firm's profitability. The integration plan should minimize this as best as possible such as bringing the systems down only during non-business hours. Overtime labor hours should be budgeted for.

The IT Director of the merger should advise the merger committee as to what systems will remain or coexists. The IT Director has to deal with the challenge...
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