These days, there’s an app for everything from calorie counting to wedding planning. You can manage your whole life with the tiny tiles on your phone, enabling productivity, organization and the sharing of ideas between people in a way never seen before.
Now that the business sector is catching up, it’s a given that adopting technology is essential for the success of business growth strategies. But, depending on the approach, you may run the risk of creating information silos that will hinder progress.
The first wave of technology adoption for many new companies starts with applications like SalesForce and QuickBooks to manage customer information and do basic bookkeeping. Next businesses will add an app to handle a unique need like Fresh Desk, for example. But as the business grows and requirements evolve, one day this collection of apps will end up being more constrictive than constructive.
As you focus on optimizing business performance, the question becomes whether to:
- abandon your existing technology stack in favor of an integrated software solution, or
- augment the existing capabilities by adding more and more systems.
In our experience, many companies wind up piling on more and more tools to an already disconnected and fragmented technology stack.
How Silos are Formed
Businesses that simply add on more tools will find themselves with a poorly-planned tech stack. A stack comprised of many, separate tools can handle short-term needs but will hinder efficient company growth in the long term.
This clunky accumulation of tools leads to data (and knowledge) siloing. Over time, as your business accumulates large amounts of data across separate tools, it becomes difficult to find and manage vital information. This separation of data is inefficient, inhibits flexibility, and slows down growth.
In the 2017 edition of its Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte found that only 8% of organizations that gather analytics, believe they have any usable data! That’s a shocking find in today’s data-driven world, where it’s impossible for organizations to come to make any decisions without the use of accurate data.
How Silos can Affect your Business
Some of the challenges caused by using separate tools include:
- No real-time visibility of business performance leading to error-prone decision making.
- Higher cost of integration due to duplicate and redundant IT and application infrastructure.
- Increased customer churn due to poor customer experience.
- Decreased employee productivity, as your staff spend time switching between disparate applications.
- Silos eventually become resource hogs as they make the collection of company-wide data, cumbersome and costly.
Data silos prevent you from seeing the big picture; a 2016 global survey of organizations found that 54% of respondents have up to 200 applications on their networks. These include software tools that are cloud-based, cloud-hosted, in a data centre, or on a mainframe. 23% of respondents use between 201 and 500, and 15% are handling up to 1000!
Working with so many applications can only slow you down. Imagine if you have to investigate a problem; you’ll have to check every data silo to compile information.
Everything in an App: An Integrated Software Solution
An integrated software solution helps your business connect the applications that drive critical workflows, allowing you to avoid overlapping data, process bottlenecks and the resulting productivity issues.
With visibility into everyday operations, you can deliver a better experience for customers and business partners.
According to an IDC survey, 83% of business leaders agreed that problems arise because they have different internal systems/applications that don’t ‘communicate’ with each other. An integrated software solution addresses this issue and increases efficiency by streamlining business processes. This eliminates the cost of hiring staff to manage those processes, while freeing up staff to handle the high-value tasks that help your business grow.
How to Break Down Silos with Dynamics 365
To eliminate silos, businesses should use an integrated software solution that functions as a centralized database for each line of business application. One of the best-in-class tools available is Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central. This is a cloud-based solution that enables end-to-end business growth with a robust ecosystem of integrated applications.
Dynamics 365 combines both enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functionality. It also integrates with other apps, like Office 365, for even greater productivity. A user-friendly software, Microsoft Dynamics 365 streamlines efforts across multiple users, devices, applications and functions.
An ERP like Microsoft Dynamics 365 can solve your enterprise pain points and help you make smarter decisions, faster.
Today, companies of every size, are using sophisticated business tech to fuel their growth. But the mixed bag of disconnected systems holds many of them back.
Integrated software solutions can transform how your business is run, helping you turn inefficient, siloed processes into agile automated process flows.
To learn more, contact us for a free consultation. Let us show you how Dynamics 365 can take your business to the next level of profitable growth.