DEFINITION of 'Information Silo'

An information management system that is unable to freely communicate with other information management systems. Communication within an information silo is always vertical, making it difficult or impossible for the system to work with unrelated systems.

Information silos exist because management does not believe there to be enough benefit from sharing information, and because information might not be useful to personnel in other systems.

BREAKING DOWN 'Information Silo'

Information silos may also exist because managers control the flow of information and access to the silo, meaning that they have an incentive to maintain the status quo. Additionally the costs associated with integrating the information sytstems may not justify a change.


An example of an information silo would be the electronic management system used for medical records. Hospitals within a network may be able to exchange information on the patient, but out-of-network facilities may not know of pre-existing problems that could help with diagnosis because the medical record system is not designed to "talk" to other information systems.

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