When information is sequestered in one app and that app doesn’t play well with other apps, what you have there is a data silo.

As enterprise software proliferates, the opportunities for these cloud silos to emerge will increase and this problem will worsen. It may be that certain applications are not designed to integrate well with others. Whether it’s because integration is hard despite APIs, or that some apps purposefully build walls around data by making exports difficult. Other times, certain teams don’t have access to a set of tools that they did not directly purchase.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that when information gets siloed in these ever-increasing number of cloud apps, it creates friction for collaborative work. For instance, consider the scenario where a company uses Salesforce, Github, and InVision. In a team, any one individual likely only has fast access to one, but not all of the tools. To share a design file, the designer would share a screenshot or link in Slack. This doesn’t seem like that big a pain. But multiple this instance by the number of times any one file is needed by someone then by the tens or hundreds of applications in a team’s tech stack. Silos could lead to redundant work, misaligned opportunities, and plenty of workplace interruptions. The lack of access, visibility, and frequency of interruptions hurts a team’s productivity and dampens a company’s overall efficiency. According to Interntional Data Corp., Fortune 500 companies lose an estimated $31.5B per year by failing to share knowledge across teams.

If 83% of knowledge workers depend on technology to collaborate, it’s more important than ever for teams to make sure they’re getting the most out of all their tools.