The importance of AI in mergers and acquisitions

The deal value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has hit an all-time high, with a global value of $2.51 trillion.

This rise in M&A has also seen a rise in the need for companies to merge their operations with other firms, a process that can take many years to complete, finds a recent report,

“Going through M&A due diligence is one thing, however, managing a new organisation and its processes is like a scene from Braveheart where everything clashes together,” remarked Nick Carter, the CEO of cloud-based construction platform, IngeniousIO.

AI’s Role in M&A

Artificial intelligence can, however, accelerate the process, say experts, especially in the area of accounts receivable.

“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,” said Sashi Narahari, CEO of Fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company HighRadius.

Narahari continued: “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.”

>See also: Pushing the limits of automation in business processes

Data Dependent

For Nick Carter, however, AI technology is only as useful for M&A as the data behind it.

“We can leverage optical character recognition (OCR) software to digitise physical documents and call it data, but it’s not delimited, which limits usability of the information,” he explained.

“In construction, we need to optimise a greater number of assets for data mining before AI becomes extremely powerful in terms of managing technology and operations consolidation post-M&A.

>See also: Connecting whilst building – benefits of the IoT in construction

“I believe 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.”

Specific Uses of AI

However, IngeniousIO has found a way to utilise AI in order to manage internal fragmentation.

Meanwhile, Sashi Narahari says that AI within the Fintech sector can be useful for accelerating training of new staff, as well as maintaining motivation within the workforce, citing HighRadius’ Freda Virtual Assistant as an example.

>See also: 5 benefits of using webinars to train new employees

“Inexperienced users, or those thrust into new functions and departments, have a ready assistant that can help them through their day via a familiar and intuitive interface,” said Narahari.

Workforce Optimism

Rising motivation levels as a result of AI could also be attributed to enthusiasm among employees. Recent research has shown that the majority of current employees do not feel that their job is under threat as a result of AI, and are in fact looking forward to the possible benefits that AI could provide at work, such as increased efficiency and improved working conditions.

These benefits could be just a taste of the bigger picture for company CTOs who are about to enter Industry 4.0, especially those who are overseeing a merger or an acquisition and thus may require AI to speed up this process.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.