Every day, headlines across the country announce new partnerships between companies. In the current economic business cycle, strong companies are partnering with other strong companies where objectives are congruent, and each can bring value to the other. These partnerships come in the form of mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. Strategic alliances are different in that both companies must be involved in making decisions and implementing the alliance because both have a vested interest going forward. Typically in strategic alliances, the parts of each business that overlap must be "cleaned up," sold, or discontinued, and new linkages must be established between the companies. In the context of this chapter, strategic alliances entail the maintenance by each partnering company of its own management, identity, and ownership; and bringing mutual benefits to the table in terms of product, market, or other strategic advantages. In other words, this is a symbiotic relationship.

In today's fast-paced business environment, where decisions are made quickly, strategic alliances are often put together and approved expediently. There are a number of valid business reasons for this, including confidentiality, timeliness, and competitive advantage. Unfortunately, however, information technology (IT) is traditionally brought in only after the deal is signed, and must then catch up, learning enough about the deal and the line of business to support the transition.

Inevitably, while IT is trying to get up to speed, the alliance is progressing into initial production mode. Playing catch-up may create technology-related issues during the alliance, whereby organizations implement short-term tactical solutions that require rework and increased costs over the long term. A better solution is to involve IT from the start of negotiations, so it can start adding value by helping to lay out the transition and establish new linkages.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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