The key to success in any industry is communication. If your teams aren’t communicating clearly and working together, the workflow is going to break down. It’s especially important to avoid silos when you’re leading a tech team; without cross-departmental visibility, your team won’t receive the information they need to create valuable, useful solutions.
To prevent this situation, we asked the members of Forbes Technology Council for their insights. Below they share nine ways businesses can use technology to break down company silos and help all their teams become more productive and collaborative.
1. Adopt DevOps tech.
Adopting common technologies, tools and reporting can break down silos between developers, operations and customer experience teams. DevOps tech can create a common focus on customer happiness across departments by improving visibility throughout the product lifecycle. Technology can’t fix culture, but shared tech can improve a firm’s efforts to break down silos and become customer-obsessed. – Shiv Sundar, Esper
2. Leverage modern communication platforms.
Powerful business communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams are outstanding when used in an integrative way. They were designed to support everyone and every level in the company in the way people naturally work—sometimes in silos and other times in a wider format and both remote and local. These apps can be set up in a way that aligns with the culture and rules, governed by the leadership team. – Sender Shamiss, goTRG
3. Invest in intelligent data management.
An IDC study found that employees can spend 30% of their workdays looking for corporate information. With these broken processes, the amount of time wasted is enormous. Intelligent data-management solutions as a new tech can help reorganize storage and put data into a more logical order so employees will find the required information much faster. This fosters much more effective collaboration. – Ilia Sotnikov, Netwrix
4. Intentionally build an ‘operating system’ for your business.
Most companies tend to use technology as a series of point solutions, solving a particular challenge in one area of the business. Instead, take a holistic view and determine which technology platforms can connect various silos. For example, email is the default communication for many, but should it be? Perhaps there is a better medium. – Chris Grundemann, Myriad360
5. Use a value stream management platform.
When you decentralize software development, individual teams can see how they’re doing, but they lack the visibility of the larger team. A value stream management platform enables teams to manage all of the interdependencies between different components and optimize the workflow. The aim is to reduce the waste that normally occurs, speeding up the process and increasing the quality of the output. – Bob Davis, Plutora
6. Create a team to champion new tech.
One way to break down silos is to build a cross-functional task force that champions new technologies. This can help to organically spread adoption rather than having to push things down. It has to be a cultural shift. A special “invite-only” tech committee can help break down cross-functional silos and increase organic adoption, and it will be something that others will also like to join versus being in a silo. – Tanvir Bhangoo, Freshii Inc.
7. Expose real-time data.
New tech brings real-time data to the table—the worst enemy of the silo effect. Powerful tech like blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics make real-time information available whenever and wherever it is needed. This allows different employees, teams and departments to lock in their workflows and make data-driven decisions that align with the company’s goals. – Nacho De Marco, BairesDev
8. Digitize information and store it in a central hub.
Centralizing your company’s information within a digital platform can go a long way toward breaking down silos. Digitize paper-based information and store it alongside digital data in a central hub, and control and monitor access via a relatively simple permission structure. This will enable easy internal information sharing and collaboration while still maintaining strict security standards. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies
9. Take advantage of collaboration tools.
Through content distribution, calendar sharing and easy-to-use user interfaces, simple collaboration tools like Google Drive or Sharepoint can break down company silos. Although different teams have different objectives and priorities, at the end of the day they are all a part of the same company. These tools allow “the right hand” to communicate with “the left” to ensure a high level of production. – Ashwini Choudhary, Recogni