Human element is the missing variable

Is there a bigger Human related issue?

Information Silos – Islands in stream of corporate consciousness

Why do we have so many information silos?  Information silos are created in several ways:

Management vision:

  • lack of sharing of corporate and cross departmental information
    • Information as a corporate asset is not recognized
    • lack of trust
    • lack of recognition that users view information as a “fact in time” that then drives new questions – usually in multiple layers of detail and / or broadening to include other information that is or is not related in the traditional (read IT sense)
    • secrecy
    • fear of knowledge getting into employee base
    • fear of knowledge being transmitted to competitors or stakeholders
  • lack of foresight
    • IT budgets squandered on fads, applications or crisis of the moment
    • IT architecture driving the business
    • Point solutions enhancing departmental or functional knowledge silos
    • Information use requirement overshadowed by “where we spend our money”
    • Lack of ability to see the ‘art of the possible’ when information is shared and employees become true building blocks of success
    • IT has a singular misconception of data as a resource or data as an asset – IT tied to trying to deliver applications or “reports” for end users
    • Vendor bias – IT buys products that cannot handle the volumes or disparity of data within a company – includes non-company info like competition, global trends etc
    • IT personalities tend to be oriented around perfection which is at odds with user perception of information – “I’ll know what I want when I see it”
    • Focus on operational issues
  • Lack of focus on strategic information needs
  • Belief in ‘always done this  way’
  • Information management, distribution and availability for decisioning  takes time and effort to establish and PROMOTE
  • Business Training
  • Business schools tend to accentuate departmental views of information largely because there is a general lack of conception if information as a corporate resource
  • Management – MBA – programs continue this thinking
  • Information as a corporate asset gets paid lip service to departmental views of “what is important”
  • Information as an asset
    • Corporations don’t treat information as an asset, but as a way to measure, manage or control
    • Information about customers, stakeholders, competitors, products services, markets, all  contribute to the knowledge asset of the business.
    • People need access to  information to enable decisioning – but we go out of our way to restrict access for reasons of power, secrecy, or technology.

IT empire building and job security for IT

Human pre-disposition towards attribution.

We need a knowledge pool, but what we have are information silos at best, maybe just application-centric data. Siloed information is a nested phenomenon, workflow-embedded versus reports, applications versus knowledge pool, knowledge pool versus actionable meaning


© Trevelyan Group LLC 2012