Technology is changing M&A

  • New Accenture Strategy research shows large companies are now pursuing more mergers and acquisitions to gain digital capabilities.
  • With digital fueling new business growth, these companies are supplementing their organic digital growth with inorganic deals.
  • It is not enough just to acquire or merge with digital savvy. Companies must then spread that digital savvy across the broader organization.
  • The true victors in M&A will be those who apply digital technologies to their own processes, giving them a competitive edge from strategy to playbook.
Of the companies most active in #MandA, more than ½ of their #acquisitions were related to gaining digital capabilities.

What typically triggers an M&A event for your company?

43% need for next-gen technology, 42% acquire new digital capabilities, 41% expand into new industries and 41% expand into new geographic markets

A traditional M&A approach doesn’t work for digital

Three out of four executives (78 percent) agree or strongly agree that companies cannot rely on their current M&A capabilities for digital deals and must hire digital leaders into their M&A organizations to succeed.


use a different pre-deal team and evaluation criteria


follow different valuation and cost models


use a different playbook

In addition, 58 percent say technology is already allowing them to achieve targets and capture value faster in their M&A deals.

Internal digital capabilities as the Swiss pocketknife

If the traditional M&A toolbox is no longer sufficient for digital deals, it must be expanded and changed. But, applying digital to the ins and outs of a deal is only part of the equation for success. Companies must become more digital themselves to integrate newcomers as rapidly and effectively as possible—doing so provides them all the benefits of digital in a Swiss pocketknife effect.

Many acquiring companies are undergoing their own digital transformations, but most have not digitized completely. For instance, 57 percent say they have a platform in place to enable new businesses and systems to rapidly integrate, as well as digital expertise to support the integration.

Surprisingly, it is often M&A that pushes companies to digitize more broadly; 85 percent of executives surveyed agree or strongly agree M&A activity has forced their company to develop a data strategy.

An emerging science

Digital technologies help C-suite leaders transform M&A from an art to a science, to increase its capabilities as a driver of innovation and business growth. Leaders are already making some important changes:

Treat digital deal differently

Leading companies develop a distinct process that best suits digital investments. From target screening to valuation, discovery and negotiation, leaders see a modified playbook as an advantage.

Spread the joy

Successfully acquiring a digital disruptor is just the starting point. Leading companies spread that digital savvy across the broader organization to help scale new business growth.

Greenlight digital internally

Forward-thinking companies leverage analytics and applied intelligence to vastly improve their end-to-end capabilities for all acquisitions―both traditional and digital.

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Successful M&A teams already bring art to the deal in a way only humans can. Complementing that art with the science of analytics and applied intelligence only bodes well for the future of M&A.

J. Neely

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions Global Lead

Donald Dawson

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Mergers and Acquisitions North America Lead


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