Florian Matthes, Alexander W. Schneider, Christopher Schulz
IT Carve-Out Guide
A manual for the separation of IT during corporate re-organizations
A carve-out can be understood as the separation of one organization into two independent entities. Thereby, this separation is always cross-functional, hence happens, among others, on an organizational, financial, legal, and technical level. In particular the latter aspect, i.e., the permanent splitting of Information Technology (IT), often poses difficulties for the involved participants. One reason is the dual role IT has to assume in such an exceptional and oftentimes intricate situation. On the one hand, IT continues to cater to new business requirements while on the other hand it is itself subject to a division. In any case, the targeted and efficient separation of IT elements, like for instance services, processes, data, systems, projects, or infrastructure, is essential given the increasing role those elements play for the success of today's organizations.
As a matter of fact, the body of publicly available knowledge focusing on IT separation during carve-outs is scarce. Opposed to Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) sources explaining in detail how the IT can eventually be consolidated, present carve-out literature refrains from providing concrete guidance. In particular, existing sources lack a thorough approach facilitating the effective separation of the different IT elements.
Based on a case study we accompanied and a comprehensive literature survey we conducted, this document firstly lays a foundation on the role of IT in the context of carve-outs. Secondly, it provides a framework consisting of nine workstreams which enable a step-by-step separation of the most crucial IT elements. In doing so, this guide assumes a scenario where the subsidiary and its former owner share the majority of IT elements, that is, no transition to an independent IT takes place.