During an acquisition, is data management a good way for the CIO to add value to the company?

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Chief Information Officer in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I'm going through lots of data debt. When I joined Zoom Info, we had 15 years’ worth of data. That’s one area where the CIO can really add value. As we are migrating data, we need to have a solid archive and purge process. We don't want to archive data if we don't need it because that data is a liability, so just purge the information unless you really need it to drive insights. Thinking about technical debt and data debt as liabilities for the company is so important during migrations and consolidation.
CIO Strategic Advisor in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” If you’re acquiring a small business with unstructured data, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the effort and cost. If you're going to spend lots of money to structure the data or clean it up, which is most often the case, you have to know how material it is. Maybe it’s better to put it aside and leave it for a rainy day. Just because you can do something, doesn't necessarily mean you should.
1 Reply
CIO in Finance (non-banking), 51 - 200 employees

I agree with you on that one. I remember when we acquired one company whose CRM was on legal paper. They were old school folks that did everything with pen and paper, and their Rolodex was in their head. In those situations, it's really hard to get folks to transition to Salesforce. It's even a stretch just to get them to use Excel. It's tough because those companies are ripe for disruption, but the folks that are there right now are not. They are the ones bringing in your business, so you can't just force these tools on them. If you do, they'll say, "Fine, then I'll retire and go to your competitor who will allow me to continue using legal pads of paper." It's very contextual. 

CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
In the end it's an ROI decision. They could have the worst data and security in the world, but the cost to fix those problems could be a lot less than the value of the opportunity. And if the value of the opportunity is actually better because they have those problems, which make them a target in the first place, that changes the dynamic in terms of whether to acquire and how to acquire. Like every IT project, acquisitions should be based on the assumed return on investment, which is determined by output of effort and cost to acquire.

A data set might be highly influential in determining the value of the company. If it is just names in a CRM, well-documented with Excel — with details like funnel, pipeline, opportunity, estimates and partnership arrangements — then that's fine. But you need to be able to get to that information effectively, because that is half the reason for buying in many cases.

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Very likely6%


Moderately likely20%

Moderately unlikely5%


Very unlikely1%




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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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