data silo

A data silo is a repository of fixed data that an organization does not regularly use in its day-to-day operation.

Application and data integration

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A data silo is a repository of fixed data that an organization does not regularly use in its day-to-day operation. So-called siloed data cannot exchange content with other systems in the organization. The expressions "data silo" and "siloed data" arise from the inherent isolation of the information. The data in a silo remains sealed off from the rest of the organization, like grain in a farm silo is closed off from the outside elements.

In recent years, data silos have faced increasing criticism as an impediment to productivity and a danger to data integrity. Data silos also increase the risk that current (or more recent) data will accidentally get overwritten with outdated (or less recent) data. When two or more silos exist for the same data, their contents might differ, creating confusion as to which repository represents the most legitimate or up-to-date version.

Cloud-based data, in contrast to siloed data, can continuously evolve to keep pace with the needs of an organization, its clients, its associates, and its customers. For frequently modified information, cloud backup offers a reasonable alternative to data silos, especially for small and moderate quantities of data. When stored information does not need to be accessed regularly or frequently, it can be kept in a single cloud archive rather than in multiple data silos, ensuring data integration (consistency) among all members and departments in the organization. For these reasons, many organizations have begun to move away from data silos and into cloud-based backup and archiving solutions.

This was first published in May 2012

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