Why data stagnation is a threat to digital transformation

digital transformation

Companies are now readily investing in digital transformation to completely digitize their internal operations and get ahead of the competition. But most companies end up focusing too much on the number of applications they are integrating and too little on how those applications are actually helping their employees.

When departments use different applications that don’t integrate well, it can lead to data stagnation and isolation which will threaten your digital transformation initiatives.

Siloed data leads to data stagnation

Even though every function and department in a company produces high-quality data, a large chunk of that data stays stagnant. For most enterprises, it is still difficult to move around large amounts of data in custom paths without someone actually manually pushing it. Even if your business processes are automated, they still take heroic manual efforts to interlink.

When you implement digital transformation in your organization, data is able to move faster, there are fewer mistakes, and you can easily track information. But if your business processes and projects are not connected to each other, then data will only be able to move freely within a particular process and not across the entire organization.

A data silo is accessible only by one department, but completely isolated from the rest of the organization. This can, in turn, lead to a lack of efficiency, transparency, and data stagnation in the company.

Data stagnation can happen as a result of many events.

Growth in the organization

When an organization grows too large without a clear and precise scaling plan, it can become difficult for data to easily pass through different departments. Employees start feeling isolated and disengaged. Not to mention, sudden growth in organizations can also increase competition between employees and certain teams may not want to release all the data they have.

Problems with technology

If you chose limited technology apps instead of robust platforms in your digital transformation efforts, the only remedies are more apps or shadow IT, both of which lead to data stagnation. Organizations need tools and applications that can make the transfer and sharing of information completely seamless. Instead of manually pushing the data, the tools should be able to automate the entire process.

How stagnant data will kill your culture

1. A less collaborative environment

When there is no free flow of data between departments, every team ends up working independently. This doesn’t just create a divided company, but it also makes it difficult for employees to perform their best.

It becomes nearly impossible for an organization’s employees to share a common vision when they are not able to collaborate with each other on different projects.

2. Slowed-down organizational growth

When teams in your company only have access to specific information, it can take them a long time to realize that they don’t have the data they actually need in order to complete the task at hand.

With data stagnation, there is no central database for employees to search and find relevant information. That means employees have to first find out where the data lies in the organization, then manually get access to it. This can make completing every task a much longer process and slow down the pace of the organization.

Most importantly, it goes against the very idea of digital transformation which is executed with the aim to make data easily available to all the employees of the organization.

3. Limited accountability

Without a common, shared platform, it’s easy for arguments about work to be centered on not having the required information. Think about the biggest fights going on in your organization right now. How many of them would be eased if more information was shared between departments?

Without a central platform, no one is in charge of core business processes. Wastes and errors become personal troubles and the focus is on whom to blame your troubles on. When data is free and flows smoothly, accountability becomes much clearer and conversations are more productive.

4. More chances of inaccurate data

The longer data is isolated and stagnant, the more chances it has of being inaccurate, outdated, and unusable. It is also possible that different teams might be using different versions of the same data files which can cause inconsistency within the organization.

Getting rid of data stagnation

To permanently remove data stagnation, you need the right platform that can streamline data and automate its movement across the organization. Consolidating all the data into one platform can make it easier for employees to share data across different teams.

Adopt a digital workplace that can serve as a central platform to connect all of your core internal functions. Rather than building or adopting separate solutions, bringing everything into one flexible platform lets you get your data moving again and is a big leap towards digital transformation.

Photo Credit: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

Suresh Sambandam is the CEO of Kissflow, the first unified digital workplace platform for organizations to manage all of their work.

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