The importance of information sharing

The days of sharing information involving nothing more sophisticated than forwarding emails are long gone.

The importance of information sharing

Have you heard the one about the insurance company that was paying out on claims to customers who hadn't even paid their premiums? Or the architects who had so many versions of the same drawing that they were never sure which was the up-to-date one? Or the financial services firm that had to repeatedly buy the same expensive legal advice because it couldn't remember what had been said the previous time?

These cautionary tales... are all true. They are a dire warning of what can happen when growing businesses lose control of their information. Sometimes information is locked in individual silos', usually designed around business functions like accounts or sales, that make it impossible to get a complete picture of an individual project or client.

Then again, multiple copies of documents get sprayed around the company via e-mail and amended by different people. Sometimes documents are squirreled away in obscure corners of the network where colleagues can't find them. Sometimes the knowledge is simply in somebody's head, only their co-workers don't know whose.

In all these cases, the result is a workforce hit by the double whammy of feeling overloaded by information yet never being fully informed.

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