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It’s Time to Lose the Facilities Management Information Silo

By Randy Walsh

In the IT world, information silos have the tendency to pop up like ants at a picnic.

Much like the tiny, biting, unwelcome guests, information silos appear and cause all kinds of unpleasantness. These silos result in communication breakdowns, decreased efficiency, and negatively impacted revenue.

Simply put, an IT information silo is a software system that does not operate or interface with any other infrastructures.

Silos are extremely prevalent in facility management software, where the results are particularly detrimental.

Campus facilities have many areas which are governed by different software solutions and/or various departments. Energy management, operations and maintenance, and space management are often seen as separate departments within themselves.

This segmentation is a critical mistake. Within the world of facilities management, all aspects of your department are intricately connected. For example, a project on your campus may involve aspects of space, energy and project management. Cutting off the different aspects sets you up for redundant or incorrectly implemented systems

Let’s take a closer look at information silos.

Information silos can come in many forms and can appear for an array of reasons – including:

Outdated software: Old software is often incompatible with other software systems. Archaic software systems can impede the flow of information within your department.

Broad vendor base: Using software from a  wide range of software vendors often creates silos within your facility department. Software is often unable to pass information between systems

Lack of interdepartmental collaboration: Often, departments do not collaborate when it comes to selecting software. As a result, critical information is often stuck in silos because the data can not be passed between software systems.

Homegrown solutions and spreadsheets: It’s no shock that homegrown systems and spreadsheets are incompatible with software solutions. After all, an Excel spreadsheet is a tool in a suite of software systems, not a complete software solution. While spreadsheets are okay for tracking data, they can not integrate with other systems to provide a complete picture of what’s happening on your campus.

In facilities departments, IT silos result in:

  • Decreased efficiency
  • Reactive versus proactive maintenance
  • Increased busy work as information may have to be entered into two different systems
  • Decreases accuracy
  • Lack of transparency

And now, for some good news…

Your department doesn’t have to be stuck in the "information silo cycle" forever.

A truly integrated facilities management software solution breaks down silos by providing a single platform for your facility management software needs. With a truly integrated system, silos are broken down as a single system is responsible for your daily facility management operations.

Learn more about a truly integrated system for your campus here.

Tags: IWMS, Implementation, Information Silos, Facility Management