Solving the Problem of Data Information Silos

Maintaining and growing your business requires tight alignment between sales, marketing, finance, and other key areas of your organisation. That cannot happen without a commitment to making a data-driven culture directs how your organisation uses its most valuable asset.

Data Alignment Is Essential. So Why Isn’t It Happening More Often? 

Maintaining and growing your business requires tight alignment between sales, marketing, finance, and other key areas of your organisation. That cannot happen without a commitment to building a data-driven culture that directs how your organisation uses its most valuable asset.

Alignment creates synergies that would not exist otherwise and produce significant returns. When companies are highly aligned, they grow 19% faster on average and are 15% more profitable than their peers.  How do they achieve alignment?  By ensuring everyone has access to the datasets they need in a consolidated infrastructure that makes it possible.

Despite the kind of results, however, the majority of companies have significant alignment issues. Here are some of the obstacles that get in the way when solving data information silos.

Information Siloes

When you have data locked away in different siloes that do not talk to each other, it is easy for different groups to only see their portion of the data. This can lead to divergent, and often conflicting, results and recommendations. When people do not have a single version of the truth across the organisation, it can lead to poor decision-making.

When data is segregated, there can be issues with missing data, fragmented data, and a lack of access that frustrates employees and prevents smart data-driven decisions. Data can also be trapped in disparate legacy platforms and apps, leading to a lack of functionality and costly maintenance.

Lack of Functionality

Legacy platforms often lack the functionality and flexibility you need to make data work for you. It may be difficult to migrate to a major app platform due to a lack of integration. App Modernisation and Digital Transformation can allow you to make use of modern analytic and data visualisation tools, but there may not be a clear pathway to integrate your legacy applications. They may require data migration rather than integration.

Costly Maintenance

Managing multiple systems can be time-consuming and expensive. You may need specialist skills from your IT teams. As products are at the end-of-life (EOL) stage, they may still be in use. If there is an issue, there may not be support available which can lead to expensive specialists. Software that is at this end-of-life stage can also violate compliance obligations which require organisations to use its best efforts to reduce operational and technical risk.

Data Security Issues

Legacy systems also face greater security issues which can affect data safety, performance, and compliance. In many cases, outdated hardware or software is in use which is not easy to update or replace. It may not allow IT teams to deploy the best security practices that can be used today to protect your data.

When security flaws are uncovered, there may not be patches available. Microsoft has already ended support for earlier versions of Windows 10. Yet, a third of all businesses still have Windows XP in use on their networks even though support for that operating system ended in 2014.

All this creates vulnerabilities and puts your business continuity plans at risk.

Data Is the Key to Business Alignment

When you combine these factors, businesses are unable to optimise their use of data for better business decisions. There may be plenty of data, but if groups are unable to focus on the right numbers or agree on a single version of the truth, it simply will not work.

Single Version of the Truth

One consistent view of data that everyone trusts.

It is not uncommon for business leaders to get together to discuss strategy and find they are all working off slightly different numbers. It can undermine trust in any of the data and paralyse organisations. Integrating data on a modern platform and ensuring everyone is working off the same numbers, helps to build trust. It also forces more alignment of resources – which is key to a smooth-running operation.

Leveraging Your Data: Solutions

So, how do you make the changes you need to use technology and data effectively while mitigating risk and minimising spend? Download our White Paper, Solving the Challenges of Data in Legacy Systems: A Guide to Modernisation, and learn how  Version 1 can help you modernise, transform, and accelerate your IT for better data-driven decisions.

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