Data Silos

By Ellice Mclean
March 31, 2020


With the proliferation of online webapps, we find ourselves as individuals using so many different tools for different tasks. The developers of these tools are smart too! They send us emails to keep us hooked with ideas, features and promotions.

Organizations at the end of the day are made up of people. We, the employees. The same trend is there, with often dozens of different free and paid online services for tracking tasks and tickets, managing blogs, updating documentation, editing files, communicating with partners and more. But this outgrowth of IT services complicates work and multiplies the risk of data leaks or worse, loss.


  1. Tools don’t connect to each other, so data is uploaded in different locations with different versions. We then lose track of our work or history.
  2. Different services means an increased risk of service disruption somewhere in your tool chain.
  3. Each tool has its user interface (and even terminology), requiring more training and resulting in errors.
  4. Loss of control over accounts and the data resides there, compounded with the risk faced when employees leave making it harder to keep track.
  5. Your IT department loses track of the services you are using and ends up paying for unused accounts or supporting systems that are used by few.

Online breaches with leaked passwords is becoming the norm. As we reuse passwords, a single compromised tool means other tools are compromised as well.


Time to talk about the one issue that strikes fear in our IT and management. Security breaches!

  1. Uploading data to multiple platforms means multiplying the risk and cost of a data breach.
  2. Loss of visibility and ability to track where data is and who has access.
  3. Complicated reporting on data breach causes severe compliance issues.
  4. Central or connected authentication & storage means breach in one is breach in all.
  5. Password re-use by employees across platforms means even a breach in a low-risk service risks all services.


We do live in a cloud-connected world, but we are facing some cloud-fatigue now. Many have hurried to online services without considering the wider scope.

The promise of cost savings by going to the cloud is getting eroded by increased cost of security and compliance for the multitude of services.

BTW, this long list of issues above is precisely why we created OneOffice.

  1. It has to be simple for users. Simplifying user experience translates to simplifying technology architecture.
  2. Don't look for the best of each service (Do we really need the best ToDo app out there? Will a simpler list not do the job for 99% of us). Look for a comprehensive solution that covers as much as possible.
  3. If you can, host yourself. Sounds counter-intuitive in today's world but you can also host (or ask others to do it for you) your services in a secured online cloud. More information here.

The most secure and compliant for all requirements (e.g. GRDP) is to have your own separate servers online. The goal is to avoid sharing database or storage with everyone else (like you would do with MS 365 or Google Docs)

Ellice Mclean
Ellice Mclean is a developper with over 10 years’ experience, mostly developping user interfaces users would actually use. Her academic background includes Computer Science and research in AI. Other significant roles include several years as in one of the top software companies. Her passions include traveling with her children, journaling, and genealogy

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