Is Your Senior Community Plagued With Technology Silos?

Imagine a situation where you need data from a different department. You grab your phone, login, punch a few buttons, and get exactly what you need.

Only it rarely works that way. Instead, you struggle. You login and try to find workarounds to get where you’re going. You make a phone call, or walk to the other department. It’s just easier.

Technology silos are everywhere. A Forrester report found that 72 percent of businesses managing multiple systems found technology silos to be moderately to extremely challenging. Three out of four!

Technology silos exist when you have software, apps, and systems that don’t communicate well with one another. You need data in one system and enter it there. You need the same data in another system, but it doesn’t overlap with the first. You input it again. This builds challenges everywhere. Duplicate records. Errors. You might even have trouble determining what data you should rely on - which information is truly correct?

Why technology silos exist

While we might rely heavily on technology today, it wasn’t that long ago that business revolved around paperwork. A rolodex filled with contacts. A file cabinet filled with customer files. Every touch had a paper to go along with it. If someone else needed it, copies were created.

So, you thought about every connection? Do you really need the info? Can you get it in another way? This caused inefficiencies, and computers would save the day. They offered better efficiency, an easier customer experience. More growth for the organization, and fewer challenges from duplication and errors.

It didn’t quite work out that way. Every department had its own approach. Every organization built its own systems. Technology was built at every level; unfortunately, it rarely communicated.

Why technology silos are a problem

Silos exist for a reason - we have good intentions for getting a job done, and we create a way to get there. Over time, the problems mount:

  • Multiple systems are difficult to connect.
  • It makes troubleshooting a nightmare, especially when data flows from one system to the next.
  • Different systems often rely on separate practices, rules, and regulations.
  • Teams operate under different guidelines, which can impact the legitimacy of the data.
  • Inefficiency - where do you go when you have a question?

So you have tech silos in place?

Your senior community might be plagued with tech silos that are preventing efficiencies in every area. You can tell you have them just by asking a few questions.

  • Does your team use multiple systems or need data to flow through several programs?
  • Does IT collaborate with the community as a whole, or do they work with individual departments to get things done?
  • Is every department aware of how data flows throughout the community?
  • Is project development handled in individual departments, or is it discussed at the organizational level?

Perhaps the biggest way you can tell if you have tech silos is by following the flow of paperwork from beginning to end. Do people from different departments know each other? If communication isn’t happening between departments, it’s time it did.

How to eliminate tech silos

This requires big-picture thinking. It means you’ll have to think from the top down, then implement for ease of use. And that often starts with culture.

No more thinking one department at a time. Billing might need one thing, while patient care might need another.

The two have to meet in the middle. The most effective approach is to think big, then think small. What’s the ultimate goal? How will an individual user use the system?

Pinpoint where data starts, how it flows, where it’s used, how it’s filed, how it’s tracked, and how it’s secured. Lots of moving parts - lots of ways to go wrong. Unless you’re aware of every step from the beginning.

This doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does need a plan. An IT roadmap ready and waiting to help you be the most efficient you can be with what’s most important.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.