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Bachelor's Thesis - Stratgies to consolidate application landscapes

Last modified Apr 30, 2015


Nowadays, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A's) are frequent events. The goals are always about efficiency, synergies, diversification, risk minimizing and market possession. M&A's require both restructuring of business organization and transformation of the existing application landscapes. Thereby, an application landscape is made up of a multiplicity of cross-linked business applications. Its task is to support the business processes in an optimal manner.

The consolidation of application landscapes is a challenging task and can be critical to a merger’s success. There exist four approaches for consolidation application landscapes: Best-of-breed (or Cherry Picking), Absorption, Coexistence and Renewal (or greenfield). Best-of-breed has the special characteristic, that the level of single applications has to be regarded as well. When it comes to applications which support the same business processes, it has to be determined which one of the applications is the better application.

The decision for a or against a strategy is influenced by a multitude of different criteria. So far, only little literature exists regarding how criteria influences the decision for a consolidation strategy.


This thesis examines M&A events from the perspective of application landscapes. The first objective is to study and to systematize the known strategies for consolidating application landscapes on the basis of literature. Secondly, a signature of influencing factors is developed for each strategy. Those signatures function as a decision support for the selection of an application landscape consolidation strategy. The criteria should be extracted from literature and validated by industry partners.


  1. Summarize and define the different strategies for the consolidation of application landscapes by studying literature
  2. Extract concrete criteria which influence the decision for each specific strategy from literature
  3. Categorize the extracted criteria
  4. Conduct several interviews for validation of the criteria
  5. Compare findings of literature research and interviews critically


  • Wirz, Patrick, and Markus Lusti. 2004. Information technology strategies in mergers and acquisitions: an empirical survey. In Proceedings of the winter international synposium on Information and communication technologies (WISICT), 58:1-6. Cancun, Mexico: Trinity College Dublin.
  • Johnston, Kim, and Philip Yetton. 1996. Integrating information technology divisions in a bank merger Fit, compatibility and models of change. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems 5, no. 3 (September): 189-211. doi:10.1016/S0963-8687(96)80003-5.
  • Andreas Freitag, Florian Matthes, Christopher Schulz – A method for consolidationg application landscapes during the post-merger-integration phase
  • Andreas Freitag, Florian Matthes, Christopher Schulz – IT transformation in the context of mergers and acquisitions
  • Thomas  Miklitz, Peter Buxmann – IT standardization and itegration in mergers and acquisitions: a decision model fo the selection of application systems

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