Interdepartmental communication is key to achieving sustainable organizational growth. Organizations are most productive when different departments can clearly and effectively communicate with one another. This opens the door for collaboration and encourages employees with diverse backgrounds to come together and work towards a common goal. Unfortunately, information silos continue to cause communication problems and make interdepartmental communication an ongoing battle.
Information silos occur when an organization’s internal systems are unable to freely communicate with one another. Imagine that each internal system speaks its own unique language. The more disparate systems an organization uses, the more languages are being spoken at once. This makes it hard for departments to share information with other departments, or to compile data for a holistic overview.
Our 2017 State of Workforce Management survey revealed that over 43% of organizations are currently using three or more internal systems. The survey also found that 65% of executives consider information silos a major barrier to cross-departmental collaboration. There seems to be a direct correlation between the number of systems used within an organization and the number of internal communication issues caused by informational silos.
This not only slows down internal processes and restricts an organization’s productivity, but could also lead to important, time-sensitive information being lost or misinterpreted. These negative outcomes are detrimental to executives trying to make strategic decisions in real time. According to a report by Wrike, “missing information” is the biggest stressor for employees, with 52% of survey respondents reporting it as an issue.
One way to eliminate information silos and improve interdepartmental communication is to transition away from multiple internal systems, and move towards a single, unified system that can be used across all departments within an organization. Such systems act as a single system of truth, allowing for information and analytics to be shared between departments without any integration issues. This helps keep important information stored in a central database that can be easily accessed by those with the appropriate security level.
Currently, according to the 2017 State of Workforce Management survey previously mentioned, only 25% of organizations use only one internal system. This number is expected to significantly rise in the upcoming years as more executives attempt to eliminate information silos and improve interdepartmental communication within their organization. The removal of information silos is a step in the right direction for organizations looking to optimize their operations, better manage their workforce and improve their overall productivity.