What are Information Silos?

Understanding information silos within an organization
What are Information Silos?

Information Silos

Let’s assume that you are in a business operations role, your job is to prepare a monthly report to be delivered to members of your C-Suite or the executive director. The report relies on information maintained in a spreadsheet and documentation housed in a sprawling folder directory. You routinely have to reach out to employees in various other departments to see if any of the information captured in your spreadsheet is out of date or whether there are new versions of the documents in your possession. It is your responsibility to maintain and track this information. It is routine and mundane but important.

Based on this scenario we can come to three logical conclusions:

  1. You are an important cog in the machine 
  2. You are also a potential bottleneck
  3. Your organization operates in information silos

So let’s delve further into this concept of an information silo-

It occurs when there is a lack of cross-functional collaboration and visibility. In short, different teams/individuals are attempting to accomplish routine tasks as part of their job function which just so happens to be dependent on the same documentation/information however each team/individual has their “own way” of processing and tracking information. 

In today’s “automate everything with software” world, you may come to find that three different departments (let’s say procurement, legal, and accounting) are relying on three 

different tools to perform similar functions without either of those tools speaking to one another.

You may ask, if they are all getting the job done, what’s the reason for concern?

Whether your organization is in the cloud and paperless or still manual and paper based, without a standardized process for managing, tracking, and communicating, then your teams are more likely to experience one or many of the following frequently:

  • Missing of critical dates and action items that can impact business operations 
  • Failure to adhere to document retention and compliance policies
  • Duplication of efforts across teams/departments
  • Reliance on outdated information/documentation to make decisions
  • Countless hours/resources spent tracking down documents or reaching out to other individuals
  • Lack of knowledge retention and knowledge transfer at times of employee departures/hires

Is your organization or team stuck in an information silo? Reach out to our team today to evaluate your process and learn more about Tikler.

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