Artificial intelligence (AI) promises benefits in the workplace, such as increased efficiency, improved working conditions and even a smoother business merger.
Before the Deal
Mergers and acquisitions hit an all-time high in the first half of 2018, with a global deal value of $2.51 trillion. In a recent survey of attendees at a technology in deals panel discussion, PwC reports 76% said AI is the technology most likely to disrupt deal strategy in the near future. Companies that understand AI applications will have an advantage.
According to PwC, there are four ways to prepare today for future merger and acquisition deals:
- Invest in people–particularly data scientists–to help understand the business and how to think about processes, technology and approaches. These skills may sit outside of more traditional job requirements and entail time and effort to integrate different skills and ways of working into your operation.
- Build a technology foundation. The pace of change means many companies will need to invest more in technology to provide a path for future innovation. The traditional IT role in most organizations will expected to do more than just provide support. Technology should fit more seamlessly in an active role for creating new business solutions and enabling the workforce.
- Standardize the approach. Improving the efficiency of your existing processes will make future AI implementations more effective. AI won’t happen all at once, but rather through a set of improvements that compound value. Standardizing your inputs, processes and outputs are necessary to better “future proof” your business.
- Enable innovation. Because AI will mean different things for different phases of deal work, development of solutions will inherently include experimentation. In many cases, this means rethinking how we view experimentation and failure. Taking risks and being unafraid to fail provides a safe place to innovate around areas of interest.
After the Deal
Once a merger or acquisition takes place, AI can accelerate the process of merging operations. This is especially true for accounts receivable operations, which can sometimes take years to iron out. Nick Carter, CEO of cloud-based construction platform IngeniousIO, believes
“accounting will be the first one to get an extreme AI influence into these types of deals, since accounting software is very much data oriented.”
Additionally, Sashi Narahari, CEO of the fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company HighRadius, believes AI can fast-track new employee training, plus help motivate existing staff. He says,
“As AI-driven automation plays an escalating, more imperative role in the modern-day enterprise, repeatable tasks executed based on one person or one department’s ‘way of doing things’ are now increasingly left to the machines.”
This assists in a merger or acquisition because,
“AI-driven automation enables companies to rely less on undocumented processes and institutional knowledge that is sometimes lost unexpectedly in the staffing disruption that can happen after a merger or acquisition,” Narahari explains.
Ready for a Merger?
Deals applications of AI technology will continue to broaden across industries and the deal process over time. Be ready with IEEE.
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Hurst, Aaron. (29 Aug 2018). The importance of AI in mergers and acquisitions. Information Age.
Sardiga, Leanne. (4 Sept 2018). Artificial intelligence and deals: Four moves that will turn AI’s potential into M&A success. PwC.
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