Why centralize our information?

I have encountered multiple cases in my career where the failure to centralize data resulted in various problems. For example, I visited a construction company in Montreal and was greeted in a large room with three people seated around a large table.

I was informed, “Mr. Darac? You are here for this document.” Wanting to make a joke, I asked, “What crime have I committed?” The reply was, “It changed hands six times and we charged $8,000.00 less to the client, because we got the wrong version, can you help us?”

This experience emphasized the importance of avoiding duplicates and the benefits of working with a single document in the cloud. We talked about working together and the advantages of working on the same document in the cloud, and it became clear to me the immense challenge that duplicates can cause.

Another instance was with a company in the arts field that used multiple systems to manage their operations, including emails through Apple, documents hosted by Dropbox, CRM serviced by Insightly, mass mailings relayed by Mailchimp, project management provided by Trello, accounting with Acomba, surveys with Surveymonkey, and time tracking. I asked why I was there, and the reply from a newly hired frustrated employee was, “Nothing is integrated! We have information everywhere.”

As someone who received training from both Zoho and Google, I understand that a company often revolves around a dozen applications and that the challenge lies in making everything communicate effectively to avoid duplicates. Centralizing the data enables time and cost savings, as well as automation of operations.

I also acknowledge that centralizing data is not always an easy process, but it is necessary for a company’s success. It’s important to take the time to think about how all systems will communicate with each other, rather than just solving immediate problems.

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