Why donâ€™t these organizations just break down these silos? The answer isnâ€™t that easy. To put things into perspective, hereâ€™s four key questions our consultants answer on consolidating siloed data.
Consolidating Data Silos: 4 Questions That Need Answering
1. What is holding back organizations from consolidating their data silos?
While thereâ€™s many reasons for their delay in consolidating data silos, organizations are facing three main roadblocks:
- First is that their data may not be immediately â€œhuman-readable.â€ This interferes with the ability to understand the data. Without understanding, they are hard pressed to develop or purchase an appropriate solution for consolidation.
- Second is that workforce members tend to retain a lot of data locally on their computer or other devices. This makes that data hard to access, as most of it is not even visible or known to the organizations.
- Lastly, cost is always a concern. It can be quite expensive to audit the huge sums of data within these organizations, not to mention the cost of implementing and maintaining a data management and repository solution. Even if the desire to consolidate is there, the effort may not be in the budget, or there are higher-priority projects that require funding.
2. What are the issues in having multiple data silos spread across an organization?
There are two primary drawbacks to having multiple data silos spread across the organization:
- Duplication of data is a big one. Even across different functions, the workforce tends to deal with the same or similar challenges and have similar workflows. To help overcome and streamline these aspects, people create or bring in data. Much of this data winds up being quite similar, meaning wasted time and effort across the organization.
- In contrast, different functions create unique data as well. Oftentimes, this unique data holds value for another function but is not visible. For example, customer service may hold important insights about customer likes/dislikes that marketing could use to improve their campaigns, which impacts sales. However, if that data is not visible to marketing, those insights are lost.
3. What are the benefits in retaining data silos?
An organization may want to retain data silos for reasons involving security, legality, and commercial sensibility. Each of these are connected.
For example, it may want to control access to data based on a hierarchy or at a functional level. This could be because of legal or regulatory concerns that force it to limit access to personnel with specific credentials or responsibility areas. In addition, some data may only be available on a â€œneed to knowâ€ basis, such as commercial interests surrounding intellectual property or trade secrets. These are much easier to safeguard when it can silo data and control access.
4. What are the main risks in consolidating data silos?
When an organization consolidates data silos, it runs into several risks:
- It may make data available to workforce members who are either not legally authorized or not of a desired hierarchal level to view it.
- It may lose data because it does not understand it, or because it is not sure what or how much data needs to be retained.
- It does not plan sufficiently before starting implementation of a data management solution and winds up with an overly complex project thatâ€™s over budget and that doesnâ€™t satisfy all its requirements.
Donâ€™t silo your data consolidation efforts. Take a well-considered approach with Factum.
Factum is a boutique consultancy with a solid track record of success in helping CIOs and IT leaders with change and transformation, software selection and implementation, and other key organisational areas. Our experienced consultants have worked across numerous industries with Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 companies. We use what weâ€™ve learned and developed from past engagements to bring greater value to organisations like yours.
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