For decades many businesses, especially the larger, have operated in silos. No more so when it came to the information they created; finance, operations, sales, marketing. Each department head knew that information is power. It can help them retain their job, increase office political clout and ensure budget approvals. The very thought of sharing corporate information to other industries was heresy. Some might be shared down the supply chain, but only to drive costs lower or improve efficiencies. Enterprise platforms like SAP have helped break some of these barriers down, but not enough for todays world. And such siloing of information may be more dangerous than ever before. Why?
Sharing is Caring. And Profitable.
It’s an adage that many a parent teaches their children. In the business sense, sharing is caring can mean more profit and greater office political clout. As our world has become more interconnected not just through the internet and communications technologies, but through trade agreements and multinational supply chains. Industries are generating more data than ever before and that is only growing. As a result, more information needs to be shared across value chains.
Beyond Internal and External Silos
It is a shift in corporate culture to think of sharing more data between departments. It’s one of the major things I deal with in regards to infonomics consulting. It is entirely another proposition for a company to consider sharing information, or even selling it (licensing) to another company in another industry.
For companies that leverage Big Data as part of their analytics, they know that it is a variety of data that is a key component to a successful analytics project. A tension arises when the company doing the analytics wants data from another company and pursues getting it, yet thinks of its own data as special and proprietary to them.
It’s All About the Derivative
The reason another department may want data internally or another company in another industry wants your data is not for your data. They want the resulting derivative that comes from integrating your data. That is a derivative that will help them. If it helps them, it will most likely help you.
Siloing information in today’s increasingly analytics driven world is no longer the power play it once was. Internally, externally, through the supply chain; sharing data can be more beneficial.
How do you think about data sharing in your company or with another company?

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