Content Silos

Content Silos

A Content Silo forms when content is created by someone in a business that is then only available to them and not accessible of usable by anyone else within the business. This can cause major problems for a business as discussed in our blog article Content Silos Cause Business Problems.
 
At the simplest form, it is the content of an email that is sent to somebody. The email is now sitting in the Sent Box in the employee's Microsoft Outlook. How does the business now benefit from this content?
 
What if it was content that could be re-used (ie an answer to a common question) or it was important information confirming a solution to a client that management should know about?
 
In a more complex form, Content Silos form when one part of a business (a department or project) installs a software program to do a particular job. That software now holds the content and no-one else in the business can re-use it because they use different software or systems. What if the process could be streamlined and if it had access to use some of the existing content from another department?
 
And what about reporting...someone has to manually collate the data for management reporting and there is no efficiency there. Plus there is the risk that someone will forget and as a result, management finds out about a problem after it has happened.
 
Take as an example, a large resources construction project worth many millions of $'s. Various Procurement staff are allocated sections or Packages of the work and they are dealing with many different sub-contractors to deliver the work.
 
The Procurement team members are doing their jobs and accumulating data in various spreadsheets. One of the items is claims from the sub-contractors that fall outside the pre-agreed works contracts.
 
With a number of layers of management, it is up to the procurement team to inform their direct reports of the claims (whether they are valid claims or not) so that they in turn can report further to provide details of possible cost blow-outs to the Controllers of budgets or the overall Project Manager.
 
Making this process more complicated is the fact many of these projects also outsource their Procurement team, so they may not be part of the daily reporting regime.
 
If this is not done effectively and on a timely basis, the Project Manager can be blindly reporting that everything is on track and on budget, when in reality that is not the case.
 
A silo of content can have severe consequences and you only need to look at the construction and resource project problems that are all too common in our media to know that this sort of thing is a major problem for businesses.
 
Office Automator allows content generated in one area of a business to be immediately available within another area of a business. It may simply be available as a report that a manager opens each morning to see what sub-contractor claims have been registered the previous day and what progress is being made with others. Thus ensuring total transparency and the ability to act on the matters with urgency.
 
Or it may be the different steps in the process calling on the content of the previous steps to complete their part of the process. The point is, with a structure process and an enabling technology like Office Automator, substantial risk can be removed from projects and reporting can be on a much more timely basis, thus reducing the risk of adverse, watch-dog, public and media attention.
 
Let us know what Content Silo issues you have and we will let you know if we can solve it. Call us on (08) 9323 2323 or send an enquiry email or fill out the Enquiry Form. We look forward to being of help.
 
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