There are numerous challenges when implementing a merger or an acquisition, and without some advance planning, and data will inevitably factor in as one of them in this day and age. All too often the failure to be able to leverage the data from both companies effectively will be a significant barrier to realizing the benefits of the M&A.

One solution is to convert the data from both companies to ISO 8000 portable data. ISO 8000 portable data is data that is unambiguous and independent of any software application. Creating ISO 8000 portable data is very straightforward. It consists of creating an ISO 22745 concept dictionary that contains metadata and reference data (or mapping to an existing concept dictionary) and then formatting the data in XML, replacing proprietary metadata and reference data with concept identifiers.

It really is that simple.

Beyond the benefits of making data exchange and integration more cost effective and more reliable by converting data to the ISO 8000 portable data format, by doing so companies are protecting themselves from application and service provider lock-in. Lock-in occurs when an application or service provider uses proprietary data formats to make it expensive for a company to change providers.