Organizations of every size and across industries are moving to the cloud. The benefits are clear.
If your business has the aspiration to be more mobile and flexible in your IT infrastructure, all while lowering overheads, then moving your data and processes to the cloud is an obvious step. Innovation in technology is happening faster than ever, and, if you want to make sure you’ve always got access to the latest tools, the cloud is the obvious option.
And, the benefits of the cloud are open to everyone; even the smallest companies can access and utilize immediate value with the very latest in cutting-edge tech, allowing them to compete with larger organizations.
However, these benefits don’t come without their limitations.
The proliferation of cloud services has also caused an increase in cloud silos. Information silos develop when processes and data exist on separate servers or platforms and cannot interact with each other.
Tools and applications are being added to organizations all the time, increasing the volume of data being held across the business.
The unfortunate side-effect of an increase in such tools—tools which are designed to help your organization—is the increase in data silos which can work against the idea of deploying these applications in the first place, i.e. better business productivity and the overall efficiency of the organization.
Highs and Silos
Information silos are certainly not a new issue for organizations.
If you have previously stored your data and run your applications on-premises, you or your IT team may have fond memories of tackling information silos with enterprise application integration projects over the last several years.
With the growth of the cloud and the increase in Software as a Service (SaaS) adoption, cloud silos are becoming a barrier to enterprise efficiency. Just like on-premises information silos, in cloud silos, processes and data are fragmented and are stored and executed across a multitude of platforms and applications.
So, how can you break down these silos and allow your data and processes to work together in harmony?
1. Recognize Your Cloud Silos
One of the first steps to breaking down any type of information silo is discovering where they exist.
This is just as important when dealing with cloud silos because your organization likely uses a host of different applications to tackle specific tasks. For example, you may use Salesforce to record sales, QuickBooks for your invoices, JIRA for issue tracking, etc.
When these tools are used independently, users are disconnected from each other and from the information they need. Your employees, depending on their role, would typically only have access to a few (but not all) of these tools and so the process of bringing your information together relies on emailing back and forth.
By understanding where these silos exist or could potentially develop is an essential first step for bringing your data and processes together.
2. Improve Communication and Collaboration Across the Organization
One of the major benefits of moving to the cloud in the first place is the access to better collaboration and communication tools. The ability to access your work from anywhere, for example, has made collaboration much more functional.
With the help of communication tools like Skype for Business or Slack you can easily keep up with what your team is doing as well as know exactly what’s expected of you.
This is all great, but how does it solve information silos?
The ability to easily contact anyone across your organization almost instantly across devices and discuss the information you need to know – without having to wait for an email reply or speak on the phone – is a godsend for the production line in your business.
By making sure your teams are using the same communication solutions to get their work done together, you can reduce the impact of information silos and realize the full benefits of the cloud.
3. Invest in a Cloud-Based Workflow Solution
Use the power of the cloud to fix itself by investing in a cloud-based solution that allows you to bring together the data and information of all your different apps and tools.
Nintex Workflow Cloud allows you to build sophisticated workflows that can utilize the power and release the potential of your most important applications. When it comes to breaking down cloud silos, you need a way to reduce repeat work, enhance collaboration and improve communication.
Automated workflows are one of the best ways to achieve these goals along with the other benefits of more efficient processes.