Pharma consolidation means IT consolidation. Are you ready?

Last year was a blockbuster year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the pharmaceutical industry. The industry saw $250B in deals according to Perficientand 2016 is poised to be even more intense.


If your company is preparing for merger or acquisition in the near or distant future, how are you getting your systems and data ready? If you’re a Concur client, you may have a decision to make: you can stay with Concur, or you can adapt to a different system used by the other entity.


You also have an opportunity. As the acquired company, you get to demonstrate how a seamless, cloud-based travel and expense platform can support agility, innovation and growth. Or if you’re the one doing the acquiring, you can help your new team rapidly automate manual processes, reduce errors, and simplify travel and expense management.


Getting through system consolidation can become much easier with these three actions:


  1. Take the opportunity to solve longstanding problems. A merger or acquisition often forces IT consolidation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When taken as an opportunity, you can  fix long-standing issues with disparate platforms and siloed teams. Take advantage of the extra support and funding that often comes with an acquisition and create an end result where the new whole is better than the sum of its original parts.


  1. Get help with the devilish details. During the planning stages, consider bringing in experts to guide you through both assessing your overall data landscape and transitioning your data to a new platform. Answer these questions throughout the process:

          o Which teams are involved, and what are their priorities?

          o Where are the gaps and where are the overlaps?


A good consultant will work with your people to ensure the single platform the unified team ultimately chooses is both easy to update and intuitive to use. He or she can also help you lead effective change management when integrating your platforms to make the entire process more seamless for all.  


  1. Make long-term goals the priority. It’s tempting to put in a solution that will help with your short-term (18-24 months) needs. But when you’re integrating platforms, it’s key to plan for the long-term future. Take your overall business goals into account:

          o Where do you want to be five years from now?

          o If you’re a regional company, will you expand nationally?

          o Might you expand globally?


The changes you make now can lay the groundwork for the scalability you’ll undoubtedly need in the not-too-distant future. By planning ahead, you can save yourself a great deal of re-work just a few years down the road.


For more information about consolidation trends in the pharmaceutical industry, see the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Deals Insights Quarterly for Q2 2015. For information about how Concur works with the pharmaceutical industry, see our Pharma, Biotech, and Medical Device section.


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