How Software Solutions Create Silos (Good & Bad)

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If you run a business, you know that you need a software solution for your various operations. Many prominent business experts have debated the idea of one overarching software solution that fits all an enterprise’s needs, while others have argued this can never work and so, multiple solutions are inherently needed. This is complex when you get into the details, but we’re just going to explore the pros and cons, what they can lead to. Hopefully, this helps you as a small business owner, desire whether you need one or more software to manage your operations. Of course what hands in the balance is cost, reputation, functionality and smoothness of your services.

Software silos (when they work)

Software silos are needed. Hold on, don’t disagree just yet. Software silos are sometimes good because they help to keep things protected, secure and also, accessible. Look at modern cloud data storage for example. It’s inherently a silo, as the cloud-based service will harbor your software and data off-site, away from cybercriminals and also your business. So if power goes out in your area, your data will not be harmed. If you can use a smartphone using a phone network, you can still access and use your data by connecting to the cloud-based service. So, silos like this can be very useful. 

Modern software 

Let’s say for example, you are a healthcare business. You have incredible amounts of data about your clients and customers. You would prefer this data to be half in and half out of a silo. You want it protected but you also want it to be shared easily among your partners. You would want something like the NovoPath software solutions. You have the ability to store your lab data of blood samples, swabs and chemical tests, on the cloud. Yet the system is easily able to section data, tables, graphs and reports, to be ready to send via email or import into presentation software such as Excel. Your operational capability is made smoother and more efficient.

Software silos (bad)

Software silos can be very bad for an organization. For example, take a look at some silo examples of risk and project management. If a risk team that should be communicating how it is managing risks isn’t doing so, then all that is happening is the hoarding of risk information and controls, so they are separate from operations. Perhaps the best example of a bad software silo is project management. The project management office (PMO), should be communicating with employees in project teams, of the changes made to their roles and targets in a timely manner. This all comes down to the project management software being open to employees, the proper assignment of authorization, access and inclusion by the project manager him or herself.

Software solutions can create good and bad silos. It all depends on what area they are to service, and who should or should not have access to them. Can you spot any good or bad software silos in your business?

Here’s Why Your Projects Always Cost More Than You Think

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you and your team plan a project, you imagine that you’ll move from where you are now to where you want to be in a linear fashion. After all, that’s what seems most reasonable. 

The problem is that the world doesn’t move linearly in business projects (or in pretty much every other field for that matter). We like to believe that change is a straight line, but it usually does a few loop-the-loops on the way. 

Just look at the stock market. Over fifty years, you can say that the stock market goes up, on average, about 7 percent per year. Not bad. But if you look at any single year, you can have enormous variation. Some years it’s down by 40 percent, others it’s up by more than 20. The world doesn’t move in a straight line, and neither will your projects. 

The good news is that you can do a lot to make sure that your project doesn’t cost more than you think. There are ways around this seemingly intractable issue: it just takes a little thought. You need to fundamentally change the way you see the world and becoming more accepting of the chaotic nature of reality. 

Reason #1: Your Estimates Are Way Off

We all like to think that we can plan cost estimates for our projects, whether they are construction projects, new products, or organizational redesign. Projects are just something that we “have to get on with.” Once the ball is rolling, milestones will fall like dominoes. 

What’s strange about this mentality is that we all know it’s wrong from our past experiences. Very few of us have ever had the luxury of working on a project which progresses effortlessly from one step to the next. There’s always a problem. And those problems always result in higher costs. 

Quality estimation services can help you calculate your costs better. Most are sophisticated enough these days to ascribe a probability range for prices, instead of an actual figure. Costs that nobody foresaw can come out of nowhere and change the nature of the game. 

Reason #2: Your Project Is Not Effectively Managed

Working out how much it’s going to cost to design a project and hire the people to implement it is one thing. Organizing people correctly is quite another. A substantial part of risk site risk management is choosing and coordinating contractors. It’s not easy to pick up if you’ve never done it before. You need professionals on-site who know what they’re doing and who have experience interacting with various stakeholders. 

Reason #3: You Have Administration Issues

The people administering your project need to understand what stage you’re currently at. You might think that you’re in control of the situation on the ground, but if your admin people don’t know anything about your progress, then they could make mistakes. 

The best way around this is to provide admin with project management tools. If they see the stage that you are in, they are in a better position to provide proactive support.