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IT leaders need a playbook to make sure corporate mergers and acquisitions reap the intended benefits.

CIO Ken Piddington says business mergers and acquisitions are a bit like football games. Unfortunately, for years his company kept him on the bench for much of the action.

So Piddington set out to change that. He spent a few months last year developing a playbook that describes how the company's IT department can help M&A deals succeed. It covers everything from the pregame meetings through the post-game commentary.

The strategy worked. "I've gone from not being included to having [a role] fairly early in the deal," says Piddington, the IT leader at oil distributor Global Partners in Waltham, Mass.

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