Bob Ridout knows a thing or two about mergers and acquisitions. For a decade during his 39-year tenure at DuPont, he served as Vice President and CIO and oversaw $60 billion worth of M&A for the iconic chemical company.\nWhile he\u2019s technically retired now, the long-time executive still spends a lot of his time working. He serves on various advisory boards including one at Domo, a software start-up that Ridout believes has the potential to ease a lot of the pain that comes with mergers and acquisitions.\nIn the interview that follows, Ridout talks about why he believes new technology can be an invaluable asset to any merger or acquisition, what today\u2019s CIOs must know and be capable of in order to help facilitate such transactions, and more.\nYou have lots of experience with mergers and acquisitions. How did you become an expert in that arena?\nI was with DuPont at a time when the company was constantly evolving its portfolio\u2014usually selling off lower margin businesses and investing in higher margin ones\u2014and transitioning from being a chemistry company to integrating biology with chemistry. That meant we made lots of acquisitions. In fact, we did M&A so often we actually made a playbook. It was a list of priorities to check off over the course of about 10 or 12 months.\nWhat steps were involved? What was the first thing you had to address?\nThe first thing we\u2019d do is set up a team and then they\u2019d go in and make sure the systems were secure. Then we\u2019d do an assessment with the new company. We\u2019d typically let them lead it. The goal was to try to win with the players you inherited, especially if we bought a business that was in a new market for us. Then we\u2019d start bringing their data into a data warehouse. If everything went right, after about 10 months they\u2019d be safely integrated.\nWhat were the biggest challenges? And how would you tackle them differently now?\nWe never really had good insight into IT costs of the companies we were merging with or acquiring. They didn\u2019t collect data the way we did. When I saw Domo, I thought, \u201cHoly moly. If I\u2019d had this kind of technology back in the day, it would\u2019ve been a different ballgame.\u201d Domo\u2019s got all these connectors, so you can really keep the systems going until you decide what you want to do next as far as complete integration goes. We wouldn\u2019t have had to spend so much time figuring out so many of the complexities of a merger or acquisition right from the outset. You could have both parties feeding this consolidated system from day one, and feel like you\u2019re operating on one system from day one.\nHow critical is the CIO in today\u2019s M&A process? What must they know or be able to do in order to make it a success?\nThe first thing you need to understand is how your business makes money, and what the levers are. Then I\u2019d look at where IT can make a significant impact. I\u2019d also make sure to have a good team. At one point when I was CIO, I estimated that I spent 70% of my time outside IT\u2014you know, working with business partners inside DuPont, with customers or supply partners outside the company, and so on\u2014and the other 30% on technology and delivery. That meant I had to have a good team making sure things worked and we could deliver.\nWhat are some of the things you know now that you wish you would\u2019ve known back in the early days of DuPont?\nI think people work with and follow people they know and trust. When you\u2019ve got trust, you can accomplish so much more. It\u2019s so much easier then to ask for something\u2014a favor, an introduction, whatever\u2014and it not be an issue. The other thing I wish I knew or had\u2014especially from an M&A perspective\u2014was some of the technology that\u2019s out there today. Having Domo, for instance, would\u2019ve been fabulous. We would\u2019ve just brought that in and had the connectors pop the data in and been able to see all the key areas during an acquisition. It would\u2019ve taken away so many of the pressures and headaches we always faced in those first 10 months or so. We could\u2019ve thought more seriously about innovation and had more high-level discussions about really important topics or initiatives. The possibilities now are just remarkable.\nClick here to learn how Domo makes it easy to integrate systems while also providing IT leaders peace of mind.