BY Richard Summerfield
The digital revolution of the last few years has had a significant impact on almost all facets of our daily life. Smart phones, cloud computing and Big Data have integrated into our daily routines almost seamlessly, and it is for that reason that the digital transformation of businesses has become such a valuable development.
This emerging reliance of mobile, cloud and Big Data technology is significant for many reasons, not least of which is the manner in which it is helping to drive mergers and acquisitions in the technology space. According to a new report from EY, 'Capital Confidence Barometer – Technology', companies are turning to cloud and mobile technology as they look to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive and demanding industry. EY’s data suggests that to the end of October the value of tech related M&A deals was $396.4bn; as such, the record of $412.4bn worth of tech deals announced in 2000 is likely to have been exceeded by the end of the year.
The impressive pace of M&A driven deals is also unlikely to slow going forward, according to EY. Forty-five percent of the technology executives surveyed for the report noted that they intend to pursue deals in 2016; this number is higher than in the last three surveys carried out by EY in the third quarter of the year.
Thirty-four percent of respondents will look outside of their own sector. Thirty-seven percent believe that ‘digital future’ – EY’s term to describe the disruption of all areas of enterprise caused by technology – is the most important driver in M&A deals today.
Jeff Liu, Global Technology Industry Leader, Transaction Advisory Services at EY, said, "As the overall M&A market hits its stride, the technology sector has continued to shatter M&A records from one quarter to the next. While digital disruption is not a new story, we have clearly entered a new chapter in its impact on M&A. It is one in which the customer is becoming a more digitally empowered protagonist. Changing customer behaviour is driving technology company acquisitions of non-technology companies — and vice versa."
Given the increasing confidence in the global economy, tech companies are feeling bullish about completing further deals in the year ahead. Though many tech executives are concerned about lingering geopolitical difficulties and their effect on the wider global economy, they will not be put off pursuing deals. With companies willing to commit 60 percent of their available capital to growth in 2016, the deals will keep coming.