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Does the CIO need a seat at the table for M&A discussions?

A CIO should always want to be at the forefront of how an acquisition occurs. It’s not a matter of whether you have a say in how to proceed, but whether or not your timeline or risks change the dynamics of the corporate acquisition as a whole. The point of an acquisition is to be able to leverage what that company offers, whether it's the people, a product, or some combination of those. The sooner you can get everyone's technology working the same way, the faster you can leverage that, and that's a simple truth in almost every transaction. The point of giving the CIO a seat at the table is to figure out how we can best leverage our own internal processes in conjunction with the rest of the C-Suite to affect as smooth a transition as possible. That shouldn't change no matter what kind of acquisition it is. What matters is how much pressure they put you under from a timing standpoint. 

Anonymous Author
A CIO should always want to be at the forefront of how an acquisition occurs. It’s not a matter of whether you have a say in how to proceed, but whether or not your timeline or risks change the dynamics of the corporate acquisition as a whole. The point of an acquisition is to be able to leverage what that company offers, whether it's the people, a product, or some combination of those. The sooner you can get everyone's technology working the same way, the faster you can leverage that, and that's a simple truth in almost every transaction. The point of giving the CIO a seat at the table is to figure out how we can best leverage our own internal processes in conjunction with the rest of the C-Suite to affect as smooth a transition as possible. That shouldn't change no matter what kind of acquisition it is. What matters is how much pressure they put you under from a timing standpoint. 
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Easy - product market fit
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
Not needed initially but only after financials are agreed. It takes too much time and effort and management bandwidth is stretched almost always
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
If we're talking about due diligence (DD) before the deal is done, then the CIO should have some say as long as there is a material concern. If you're acquiring engineers or acquiring technology that's material to your IP base, or to the technology you're already using, then that makes sense. If you are a company where technology is not material to the deal itself and the reasons for the deal, then I don't think the CIO has to be part of the DD process. In fact, DD works best with the smallest number of people. You don't need so many voices in that process. Once it looks like we're going to move forward with the deal and we’re ready to figure out how to preempt some of the integration pieces, then the CIO should absolutely be part of that process. I want to parse that a bit, because it's easy to say the CIO should have a seat at every table, and I think we have to be careful about that. We don't want to come across as a role that feels like we have to be involved in everything.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I do think that a CIO can have multiple hats. It's not always just supporting corporate technology to enable employees, they can also bring in experience as an executive to help make the right decisions for the company. I also lead the data analytics team for ZoomInfo and we are the only ones who have the business data that runs across all systems. I don't see myself as just a technologist, and I do want a seat at the table. I want to be part of those decisions because I have executive knowledge, not just business systems knowledge. CIOs can drive revenue as much as any other role, it's just that the perspective is different. I would hate to be excluded from these decisions and thankfully, at ZoomInfo I'm part of the conversation when we are evaluating technologies. I have contributed tons of information from past experiences, even about simple things like tech cultures that we see merging together. We shouldn’t underestimate ourselves. We bring in a lot of information, outside of technology or business systems, that is instrumental for any decision the business makes. I've always put on the CEO hat when I run IT as a business, so I never see us as a cost organization. That's why I think we should always have a seat at the table.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
The CIO should be part of the due diligence, have a say in the technology integration, and provide information on the timelines and potential difficulties. The CIO should influence the deal or the terms and expectations of the acquisition and should be included early on but not necessarily have a seat at the table.
1 upvotes