5 Risks of Data Silos and How to Avoid Them

5 Risks of Data Silos and How to Avoid Them

Silos are often the biggest fly in the modern, multicloud ointment. You almost can’t talk about data these days without someone raising the data silos issue. And that’s with good reason—they’re pesky and problematic, but they can also diminish ROI, slow transformation, and hold productivity back.

The first step in breaking down silos and eliminating cost and confusion is to identify silos and what causes them. Let’s take a look.

What Are Data Silos?

Data silos are isolated collections of data. If that data doesn’t need to be shared, that may not be a problem. But when that data could add value in a broader context or in combination with other data sets, that isolation can pose problems.

Silos, for various reasons, aren’t accessible or a part of the rest of your organization’s centralized data. Maybe they’re accessible by just one team but not the broader organization. This often happens when a tool used by one team collects data, but that tool isn’t integrated into the broader organization’s ecosystem. Or, maybe it’s stored in one cloud but needs access from applications on premises or in other clouds.

Bottom line: Silos also can’t talk to one another. Whatever keeps data in those silos separate limits its potential.

Here’s an example:

A marketing team uses a tool to track conversions to understand which channels and efforts bring in new customers. This also helps them repeat certain effective tactics and tweak messaging or ad placements—but their visibility is limited to the top-of-the-funnel data. Once customers are in the CRM system, a different team manages data such as purchase histories and preferences. Without access to this, the marketing team struggles to optimize efforts to existing customers. This results in missed targeted opportunities and the chance to nurture loyal customers.

At the same time, CRM data such as future purchase predictions isn’t conveyed to supply chain management or marketing. As a result, the marketing team promotes a product that isn’t readily available from suppliers or that data shows isn’t in demand at that time of year. Shortages, confusion, and missed opportunities abound.

5 Problems Data Silos Can Cause

The larger your organization grows and the more data you collect, the worse silos can become. And when you’re trying to be data driven, they can also stop your progress in its tracks.

Because data silos can’t talk to each other, teams can face management and efficiency nightmares. Silos can add friction in a broad range of use cases, from data analytics to regulatory compliance to business continuity. Overly isolated data leads to costly problems, including:

Limited Visibility

Data silos make it impossible to gain a 360-degree view of your enterprise. Without a complete understanding of business processes and performance, employees have limited insights and can’t identify opportunities to improve the business.

Lack of Collaboration

Rather than working together, teams stick to their own data and their own objectives. This prevents employees from teaming up to pursue common goals. It can even breed distrust, as teams preserve their own data and limit interdepartmental transparency. “Not invented here” syndrome can set in.

Lower Productivity

With data silos, information isn’t readily available. Employees waste time searching for information, and by the time it’s in hand, it could already be out of date.

Inaccuracy

Data silos also affect data integrity. There could be multiple versions of the same data in one organization, leading to version control problems. This can then result in inaccurate reporting and poor decision-making.

Inefficiency and Redundancy

When organizations duplicate data in multiple locations, they waste substantial storage space and money compared to a central, unified data store. 

How to Consolidate and Streamline Data Silos

Consolidating data silos starts by unifying your data and breaking down legacy infrastructure barriers where applications have their own silos and replicated data sets. A data hub offers a single pane of glass to all data sets, making them accessible to anyone who needs them, no matter where they are. It also opens data up to be accessible to multiple applications, no matter where they’re deployed.

How Pure Storage Solves for Data Silos, Once and for All

The right data services platform, coupled with the right software-defined storage (SDS) solution, can break down the silos by delivering seamless data mobility and simplified storage management while improving overall cost.

Unified storage provides seamless data access. Authorized users need to access their data wherever they are in the world—and wherever their data resides: at core data centers on premises, remote branch offices, or in the cloud.

The right operating environment should contain an SDS solution. An SDS enables you to consolidate these silos into a common infrastructure because it offers a common data plane that abstracts your applications and data from their underlying hardware.

Pure Storage® Pure Cloud Block Store™ is a state-of-the-art, software-defined block storage solution with industry-leading data efficiency. Pure Cloud Block Store breaks down data silos by:

  • Abstracting applications and data from their underlying hardware. This enables data mobility between on-premises and cloud environments.
  • Keeping data replicas in sync with master data sets.
  • Providing the secure, highly scalable, and simple-to-use Purity Operating Environment, which enables you to eliminate the silos that can throttle innovation and intelligently manage data anywhere—in data centers, at the edge, or in the cloud.

To take advantage of the many benefits of a multicloud world, you’ll want the best infrastructure options in place. Only then can you gain true agility and elasticity across complex cloud environments—and the competitive advantage from your organization’s most valuable asset: data.

To learn more, visit Pure Cloud Block Store

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