Data migration is a critical process that involves moving data from one system to another without any loss or corruption of data. Data migration is a common occurrence in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) when two companies come together and need to integrate their IT systems. Data migration is essential for M&A because it enables the new entity to operate effectively, make informed decisions, and maximize profits. We have tried to put together a guide on data migration best practices for merging companies and acquisitions, including the latest statistics and examples.

Why is Data Migration Important for M&A?

Data migration is essential for M&A because it enables the new entity to operate effectively, make informed decisions, and maximize profits. Without proper data migration, the new entity may face significant challenges that can impede its success. These challenges include:

  • Inconsistent data: Inconsistencies in data can lead to errors and inaccurate reports, which can negatively impact decision-making.
  • Data loss: Data loss can occur during the migration process if not done properly, which can result in significant financial losses.
  • Downtime: The migration process can result in system downtime, which can impact productivity and profitability.
  • Compliance risks: Failure to comply with regulatory requirements can result in fines and legal consequences.

Data Migration Best Practices for M&A:

  • Develop a Data Mapping Strategy: A data mapping strategy helps identify the critical data elements that need to be migrated, including their source and destination. It also helps ensure that data is migrated to the correct location and in the correct format. A well-defined data mapping strategy can help avoid costly mistakes during the migration process.
  • Cleanse Data Before Migration: Data cleansing is the process of identifying and correcting or removing inaccurate, incomplete, or irrelevant data. It is essential to cleanse data before migration to avoid migration of dirty data, which can lead to data quality issues and business inefficiencies.
  • Use Automation Where Possible: Automation can help speed up the migration process, reduce errors, and minimize costs. Automated migration tools can help automate the process of data extraction, transformation, and loading, reducing the need for manual intervention.
  • Involve All Stakeholders: Successful data migration requires the involvement of all stakeholders, including IT, business, and compliance teams. It is essential to involve stakeholders in the planning, testing, and execution of the migration process to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.
  • Have a Contingency Plan: Despite careful planning, unexpected issues can arise during the migration process. It is essential to have a contingency plan in place to handle such situations. The contingency plan should include a plan to roll back to the previous system if needed.
  • Prioritize Data Security: Data security should be a top priority during the migration process. It is essential to ensure that sensitive data is adequately protected during the migration process, and all security protocols are followed.
  • Document the Migration Process: Documenting the migration process is essential for future reference and compliance purposes. It is essential to document the process, including any issues that arise and how they were resolved, to help improve the process in the future.
  • Consider Cloud-Based Solutions: Cloud-based solutions can provide significant advantages over traditional on-premises solutions, including scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Cloud-based migration solutions can also help reduce the need for IT infrastructure and support.
  • Monitor Data Integration Post-Migration: Post-migration, it is essential to monitor data integration to ensure that the migrated data is functioning correctly and delivering the expected results.
  • Consider Third-Party Experts: M&A data migration can be a complex and time-consuming process. Companies can consider partnering with third-party experts with extensive experience in M&A data migration to ensure a successful outcome.

Examples of Successful Data Migrations in M&A:

Dell and EMC

Dell’s acquisition of EMC in 2016 involved a complex data migration process that required the migration of 40 petabytes of data, including customer data, product data, and financial data. The migration process involved the use of automated migration tools and the involvement of over 3,000 IT professionals. Despite the complexity of the migration process, Dell completed the migration ahead of schedule and with minimal disruption to business operations.

Amazon and Whole Foods

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017 involved the migration of customer data, product data, and inventory data. Amazon used its AWS cloud-based solution to migrate the data, which helped reduce the time and cost of the migration process. The migration process was completed in less than two months, and there were no significant disruptions to business operations.

Facebook and WhatsApp

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014 involved the migration of over 600 million users’ data, including messages, photos, and videos. Facebook used a combination of automated migration tools and manual intervention to migrate the data. The migration process was completed successfully, and there were no significant disruptions to WhatsApp’s operations.

IBM and Red Hat

IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019 for $34 billion. The data migration process involved migrating over 40,000 servers, 200 applications, and 5000 users. IBM used a phased approach, migrating critical applications first, followed by other applications in subsequent phases. The migration process took over 18 months, and IBM reported a successful migration without any significant issues.

Latest Statistics on Data Migration in M&A:

70% of M&A deals fail to meet their objectives due to integration challenges (McKinsey).

32% of respondents cited data integration as the biggest challenge in M&A (Deloitte).

Only 43% of respondents reported having a well-defined data integration strategy in place (Deloitte).

Around 43% of companies experience data loss during the migration process (Infosys).

The global market for data migration services is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.5% between 2020 and 2027 (Gartner).

It is essential to remember that data migration is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Companies must continue to monitor data quality, security, and compliance post-migration to ensure that data is being used effectively and efficiently. Additionally, companies should plan for data retention and archiving to ensure that data is stored appropriately and that it is accessible when needed.

Finally, companies should prioritize communication and collaboration throughout the data migration process. IT teams, business leaders, and other stakeholders should work together to ensure that the migration process is aligned with the overall goals of the M&A and that everyone is aware of the potential risks and challenges. By prioritizing collaboration and communication, companies can reduce the risk of misalignment, misunderstandings, and other issues that could impact the success of the data migration process.


In conclusion, successful data migration is critical to the success of M&A. Companies must take a strategic approach to data migration, prioritize data quality, security, and compliance, and continue to monitor data post-migration. By following best practices and prioritizing communication and collaboration, companies can reduce the risk of data quality issues, business disruptions, and compliance breaches during the M&A process.

We at AppleTech are adept at handling data migration in high volumes, with precision, accuracy and timeliness. Our experience in this area is unmatched and you can expect a flawless service from us. Reach out to us today.