Anyone who has worked in a company environment knows the frustration that people SILO's create when trying to achieve tasks that span several groups. Silo structures maintain their own management, tasks, issues, data, knowledge and ideas making cross-silo co-operation diffcult. These tribal silos are based on skill sets, which means they�re based on personal histories, professional affiliations, and common job language. These natural barriers are further entrenched by internal silo protocols that create defendable barriers to external groups.
Organizations are now realising the need to manage effectively across tribal silos far more aggressively than in the past.
Silo groups are both the building blocks and bugbears of organizations; The old skill-group model has reached its use by date, modern organizations now require a more holistic approach (witness ITIL) to the delivery of services. While the individual skill sets must remain, reinforcing them with rigid organizational boundaries and siloed processes must change.
As Money is the primary reason for business, successful organisations look for ways to maximize revenue by increasing sales of products and services to new and existing customers. To stand out in a commoditized market place, organisations must understand what customers truly value and to do that they must unite internal resources to improve delivery to customers.
Management cannot just demand internal groups co-operate as modest initial changes will quickly evapourate. Management must foster change and support those changes through active management, new applications, shared data flows, centralized data storage, shared processes, culture shifts and education. The people who make up the organisation must adopt the mission that the changes they participate in will benefit the organisation through better service delivery and that will drive flow on revenues.
Supporting these new service oriented missions are process architectures like ITIL and data awareness appliances like Yellowfin (Business Intelligence).
ITIL, which is being widely adopted today, specifies more effective cross-silo collaboration to improve processes across IT systems within the organisation. Originating in the late 1980's in the UK, ITIL� (the IT Infrastructure Library) is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management in the world. ITIL� provides a cohesive set of best practice, drawn from the public and private sectors internationally. It is supported by a comprehensive qualifications scheme, accredited training organisations, and implementation and assessment tools. ITIL principles are not just limited to the IT department, the core principles extent to all organisation units as information flow and technology have successfully infiltrated all corners of the organisation.
Yellowfin is the industry BI appliance that organisations can roll out quickly to enable wide data knowledge improvements. Yellowfin has taken a fresh approach to information delivery by focusing on how people interact. The great failing of traditional reporting products is that they have delivered technology rather than business oriented solutions. The tools available have created barriers between those people with business expertise and the data they need to make decisions.
Yellowfin realised early that collaborative technologies are core to how people will interact within organisations in the future. The key elements of successful collaborative solutions will have both presence; (to allow communities of people to interact), and persistence; (which will enable a memory or continuity of that interaction).
Collaborative architectures like ITIL can deliver productivity improvements, but the true transformational changes can only occur when stakeholders have access to critical information as they need it. Yellowfin enables fast adoption in organisations by integrating tightly with existing data stores and applications. People don't just want another application they have to login to, they want tools that make sense, make their job easier/smarter and support their current practical day to day decisions.
Data and Knowledge awareness does not need to be complicated. Simple to use tools, providing access to relevant data is what business users want.
The principles of information collaboration also support cross-silo collaboration
* Easy access to data
* Tools that are easy to use
* Wider adoption of tools across all stakeholder groups
* Expert user identification
* Work flow
* Corporate publishing
* Work groups
An enterprise reporting solution like Yellowfin is ideal in situations where questions are predefined and the structure of each answer is fairly well known in advance. In this case, the majority of users are information consumers who get snapshots of business activity. Business experts create reports that answer the most regularly-asked questions and distribute them to hundreds or potentially thousands of users.
While ACCESS and EXCEL allow silo groups to analyse small data sets on their desktops, these applications are not designed to manage larger data problems or wide scale data sharing. The introduction of dashboards and expert reports enhances visibility of organisational strategy, align actions with that strategy, and allows your users to track KPIs, assign goals, and collaborate/share knowledge. Dashboards communicate complex information quickly. They translate corporate data into a rich, graphical presentation using gauges, maps, charts, and other graphics to show multiple results together. Dynamic dashboards also let you drill-through to other data sources and reports for more detail about what the dashboard shows you.
Dashboards and enterprise report support cross silo processes via:
* Employee accountability - as they take ownership of their performance through improved visibility.
* Deliver at-a-glance information - Dashboards let people see immediately how the company, business unit or individual is performing in its critical areas.
* Communicate strategy effectively - Supporting business processes by expressing important information, key drivers, performance expectations, and the results - to make strategy relevant to everyone.
* Monitor performance against targets: Track critical performance measures in real time.
* Support Collaboration - Corporate performance metrics makes visible the impact one department has on another leading to proactive cooperation among different areas.