Breaking Down Siloes: The Importance of Universal Data Access in the IoT Era

Written By: Julie Pike
  • 11/5/2017

Thanks to smart, connected technology and the IoT, organizations are being buried under a flood of data from their products and processes. However, according to IDC, only 0.5% of the data that is being produced is actually being used. It’s not that the other 99.5% of data is useless – it just isn’t accessible to the stakeholders who would find value in it. Universal data access is necessary to completely leverage data that is available to you to improve the product and remain competitive. 

Getting data into the right hands isn’t as easy as walking into the next office and handing your colleague a file. Different teams throughout the organization use various systems to capture, manage, and communicate product data – meaning that information is scattered across systems and is often only accessible by a select group. While these systems are designed to improve collaboration among users, they also tend to build siloes between those we have access and those who don’t.

Working Around the Silo Problem

The knee-jerk solution to breaking down these siloes is to give more users access to each enterprise system. However, because enterprise systems boast extensive capabilities, new users often need to attend training sessions before accessing the system. For the infrequent user who is tapping in for a particular data point, these training sessions can be overwhelming, unhelpful, and a complete waste of budget. 

Instead, organizations opt for the less costly route of having system users serve as “data ambassadors”: Nonusers ask colleagues with system access to retrieve data for them. On the surface, this seems like an ideal solution, but it’s only a Band-Aid to the silo problem.

When products were simpler, occasional requests was manageable. But the growing amounts of data from complex products means more teams need access – and causes a never-ending, uncontrollable influx of requests that distracts the “data ambassadors” from completing their own projects. In the end, this more cost-efficient workaround has a seriously high cost of lost productivity. 

Deploying Universal Data Access

Instead of looking for a workaround, organizations need to find a way to break through the bottleneck without wasting time and money. Organizations need to consolidate information from all enterprise systems onto a universally accessible platform. By investing in a solution that allows users access to data based on their task or role, users can quickly find and access the information that they need – without waiting for a middleman to gather the data for them. Not only does this enable stakeholders to make better decisions faster and increase efficiency and time-to-market, but it also helps free up the “data ambassador’s” time to work on high-value projects.

Universal data access improves visibility and collaboration – which helps set the foundation as your organization begins its digital transformation journey to outperforming in the IoT era. With better enterprise-wide visibility, stakeholders can find new ways to leverage data to improve the product design and create a better experience for customers. 

Download the e-book, “Transform Product Development with Easy Access to PLM” today and discover how universal data access can impact your organization.




Breaking Down Siloes: The Importance of Universal Data Access in the IoT Era

  • Windchill
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Electronics and High Tech
  • Digital Transformation

About the Author

Julie Pike

Julie Pike is the PLM Content Marketing Specialist at PTC. She has spent her career in marketing and communications primarily in the technology industry. Follow her on Twitter at @julie_pike.