Document-Genetics-GlobeInformation risk higher for acquisitions than mergers, study reveals

15th May 2014

Company acquisitions can have a devastating impact on information security and management, with the employees of acquired firms more preoccupied with the potential impact on their role than with the need to effectively integrate the information of both companies, according to new European research. This lack of focus during an acquisition could leave information at increased risk of loss or exposure. The picture is different when companies merge, and employees stay focused on integration and ensuring company information remains well managed.

 The top two information concerns of employees at acquired firms are: confusion around responsibilities for managing the information (34 per cent) and the prospect of change to their information management systems (33 per cent). Just over a quarter of employees (27 per cent) at acquired firms worry about consolidating different sets of customer or company records, and less than one in five (17 per cent) worry about how to deal with data discrepancies, duplication and overlap. 

Furthermore, one in three employees of acquired firms say there are no policies for integrating records or protecting customer data compared to just 19 per cent of those at the acquiring firm. Paper records are a serious concern, with 44 per cent of newly acquired firms saying there is no process for integrating paper into new digital systems, and 31 per cent saying the same for the storage of the paper archive.

The picture for company mergers is very different, with employees at both firms focused equally on addressing the main aspects of information management. Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of employees feel supported in record integration during a merger, and nearly two thirds (62 per cent) feel the same about the protection of customer data.

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