06 May 2019
Silo Syndrome, a mindset present in some companies when certain departments or team do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality reduces the efficiency of the overall operation, morale, and may contribute to the demise of productive company culture.
Historically speaking, silos have always been thought of as dreadful for a company and the push for incorporation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) makes no exceptions. A recent survey shows fewer than 50% of enterprises have deployed any of the "intelligent automation technologies" such as AI and RPA. IT leaders participating in a survey say data and applications within their companies are too siloed to make it work.
That's the summary of a survey of 500 IT executives, conducted by IDG in partnership with Appian. The majority of executives, 86%, say they seek to achieve high levels of integration between human work, AI, and RPA over the coming year. The problem is they have a long way to go - at this time, only 12% said their companies do this really well today. One can assume that there are issues of communication between the IT and the business side of the company. Some of these issues may eventually see some relief through agile and progressive operational initiatives.
The silo mindset does not appear accidentally nor is it a coincidence that most organizations struggle with interdepartmental turf wars. When we take a deeper look at the root cause of these issues, we find that more often than not silos are the result of a conflicted leadership team.
The intemperate habit of holding information within the organization is negatively impacting the company culture. The process of not sharing information among themselves has both external and internal impacts-with external impacts affecting the customers and other external users of the business. The internal impacts include:
· Substantial growth in inefficiencies and redundancies within the departments
· Turf wars and tension between departments regarding responsibilities and ownership
· General sense of discomfort and lack of transparency
Just like any other new venture, the seeping through of AI in an organization is often challenged by the presence of silos. Even after AI is deployed in the organization, the lack of collaboration makes it extremely difficult for AI to process normally. For instance- the major purpose of AI deployment is to make decisions and in order to make an informed decision, it needs to have access to complete picture. As there is a definite lack of communication and collaboration among departments, AI and its decision-making abilities will suffer due to it and also the company’s growth.
At this point, it appears AI and RPA are mainly the tools of the largest corporations with massive IT support. While there are deployments of individual emerging automation technologies, a lack of strategy and clear alignment to business goals is resulting in siloed deployments and overwhelmed internal application development teams. Less than half of surveyed companies have deployed any form of intelligent automation.
Breaking down the silos is not an easy task for any organization; however, the avoidance of these issues will be more detrimental to the employees and ultimately the overall health of the organization. There is nothing more powerful in any organization than having all employees rowing fiercely in the same direction. Similarly, there is nothing more powerful than making an informed decision. The result of informed decision making combined with AI is limitless for any enterprise, its investors as well as its customers in the long run.