December 1, 2023

Information silos are hurting your business

When a management meeting is on the cards are you inspired into action? Let’s say you’ve checked in with stakeholders, run the numbers, and have started to notice promising growth that you can capitalize on.

You feel a level of satisfaction given the progress you’ve made, but acknowledge the difficulties in getting there. You’ve had to juggle various tools, wait for analysts, evaluate business performance, and push stakeholders to send information on time.

Many of today’s modern tools are designed to streamline data collection and insights sharing. However, tools can become so intertangled they can begin to look like spaghetti. When did tools which are supposed to be helpful start getting siloed?

By the end of this blog, you’ll understand:

  1. Information silos: What they are and what causes them
  2. How easy access to information is a necessity, not a luxury
  3. How to overcome information silos

One of the biggest challenges organizations face is the inability to make information available to employees using existing tech infrastructure. Also, often employees are unable to use information fully due to non-availability in the shape and format they want it to be in.

When access to information is not simple and easy, information silos can arise.

Why Are Organisations Facing Information Silos

Businesses intend to facilitate a free flow of information organization-wide, however, many of today’s systems haven’t been updated to align with evolving consumer needs and technology.

An information silo exists when management systems are unable to communicate with unrelated systems. Many information technology challenges can reduce the effectiveness of information when and where it’s most needed. Here are some of the pressing challenges organizations are facing today:

Dealing with Disconnected Systems is Stressful

Information silos in pharma

Data accessibility and availability are critical components to any progressive pharma company.

Despite modern tools generating many well-known benefits, there are also many teething difficulties to address. As modern information management systems continue to disrupt industries, technical guidance is crucial to empower users and optimize the way you apply tools, especially when manual efforts are not worth it.

Many organizations fail to realize the benefit of adopting a centralized information repository where employees can leverage information any time, anywhere. Failing to believe in the benefits of sharing information can be more harmful than you’d think.

Unfortunately, information is often stored in different places or with individuals, which makes information availability a bottleneck that’s difficult to overcome. Information is often duplicated in redundant ways that cause employees to lose time and operate with less efficacy.

Organizations typically use complex tools and systems which are disconnected. Many modern information systems leverage cloud technology to improve collaboration, increase accessibility, reduce costs, and increase data security. However, most pharma companies still use PDF and Word files as content repositories that sit with individuals or in departments. Many of these files contain sensitive information and are content-heavy, meaning it’s essential for information to be protected in an environment that makes sharing easy.

Not Everyone Is on the Same Page

Another huge organizational challenge, one that’s largely a carryover from traditional practices, is the dependency on an individual or silo to obtain time-sensitive information.

Let’s say, for example you’re relying on information from a quarterly marketing report from a team member/colleague. You’d be reliant on that individual being available when the information is needed, creating a dependency on another individual or information silo.

As a company grows, workers become assigned to teams to increase productivity. When different teams begin to focus on different priorities, this requires disparate systems and tools (like a CRM for your sales team and an analytics tool for your business team).

Creating departments to focus on specialized tasks is a vital step in scaling an organization. However, this fragmentation can create barriers that block the flow of information across teams.

Time Lost Gathering Information is Demotivating

Gathering information can consume significant resources, where when there’s so much data to evaluate staff can get demotivated with menial and repetitive tasks that consume lots of time and attention. Employees often lose considerable time looking for the information they need, something which can eat into productivity and efficiency.

It’s important to acknowledge that all information has an expiry date or time. With this being said, every decision that’s made is dependent on relevant data, levying greater expectations to do more in less time.

Increasing complexities surrounding data access and analysis can affect your decision-making processes, eating into efficiency while demanding a competent use of modern technologies.

How to Overcome Information Silos: The Solution

By embracing advanced technology solutions, organizations can better channel the information needed to be successful. Here are some important steps to overcoming information silos and creating integrated data flows:

1. Create a One-Stop Information Hub

It’s crucial to generate a centralized source for employees to access so they can meet their everyday information needs. Isolated data sets in silos reduce the opportunities for data sharing and collaboration between users in different departments.

It’s harder to work together effectively when people don’t have visibility into siloed data. There should be one common interface which connects all information sources and makes it easier for departments to work in collaborative infrastructures.

2. Secure Easy and Simple Access to Data

Eliminating the need to manually search for information is a modern convention that can enhance efficiency dramatically. Managing information has become a challenge, especially since data is so abundant and has increased in complexity.

As technology continues to add to information, it’s crucial for data and crucial business information to be readily available at its disposal with ease.

3. User Experience Matters

Modern digital assistants enable users to navigate intended information flows or simply obtain critical information through conversational interfaces. As a versatile digital assistant, Ariya can be customised to an interactive text-based, voice-based, or button-based input to suit your preferences.

4. Enable Users to Access Information Anytime, Anywhere

Whether you’re in a meeting or on the go, it’s important to have advanced access to information. In today’s fast-pasted industries, solutions compatible with mobile devices are preferred. Ariya can be accessed any time, anywhere, having been designed for users on-field and for management teams to access concise or brief data points remotely.

Luckily, many of these challenges can be overcome by using a knowledge assistant like Ariya, as AI and big data continue to play a major role in optimizing pharma business processes.

Easy Access to Information is a Necessity, Not a Luxury

In a world where technology has created an abundance of data, it’s created a self-perpetuating cycle where the same technology is the solution. Despite many sectors adopting AI to enhance consumer experiences, the healthcare industry is a bit behind with the times when it comes to embracing the latest technology.

There is considerable evidence to suggest AI and big data will have a profound impact within the pharma industry going forward, where a GlobalData report has revealed it will play a prevalent role in drug discovery, development processes, sales and marketing, and many other processes.

Currently, AI-enabled solutions are generally customer-centric (patient-centric), meaning we’re yet to experience the full benefits from an organizational perspective. Many employees continue to struggle with information needs that can be addressed using AI conventions.

Information management issues continue to rear their ugly head. Organizations must buckle up to address the elephant in the room, including information silos, a lack of mobility, and the need for on-demand access to information.

Conversational AI solutions like Ariya democratize information and are designed to make your life simpler, not more complex. By investing in one today, you’ll be one step closer to making information more readily available.

Empower employees by making information readily available. Motivate them to be more productive, forward-thinking, and compelled to achieve greater things.

Indu Behera

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