Unearthing the single source of truth for higher efficiency
Consider a project that you are working on, in collaboration with other teams in your organization. The development of the project will have different levels of progress depending on the pace and scope of work across teams. The combined contribution of these teams will result in multiple versions of the output, with some sections that are more up-to-date than others. In such a scenario, a consolidated and online version of the project prototype will include the most recent alterations by each team while also ensuring version control. In other words, it will act as a single source of truth (SSOT) for the project.
If a new product – that is being commissioned while upgrading from an older model – runs into a technical glitch, the implementation teams can always retrieve the configuration details of the last working model from their SSOT. Similarly, chatbots extensively use SSOT to assist customers with relevant queries. From disaster recovery, to software development, even to ensuring compliance, SSOT is the pillar supporting the aggregation of data and the generation of real-time business insights.
The ‘Bible’ of all databases
A philosophy frequented by businesses and their internal teams alike, an SSOT is a centralized repository and can be accessed by authorized users across various teams and geographies. The aim is to create a common point of reference for relevant data. It can be used for many purposes, like managing customer data, tracking changes in the enterprise applications, customer billing, digital transformation projects, inventory movements, vendor management, coordinating with stakeholders, etc. The SSOT provides a rich possibility to analyze the past data, see the present trends, and plan for a future course of action.
With the rise in remote working, management of an SSOT is fast becoming critical for enterprises to support the multiple ongoing upgrades and transformation projects. Maintaining an exhaustive and accurate SSOT is key to the success of any large transformation project.
SSOT breaks down data silos, making real-time data easily discoverable and boosting transparency between teams while uplifting overall productivity. It also improves process efficiency by eliminating duplicate data and helping to derive business insights. SSOT serves a crucial role during any digital transformation journey – be it regarding cloudification of applications, software development, establishing a new contact center, etc. By consolidating data into a managed repository, the ground-level business operations team can easily identify and address any problems that may arise during project implementation.
Still a work-in-progress
Implementing an SSOT is a colossal organization-wide task and mandates the commitment of multiple resources. With conceptualization of an SSOT taking substantial time, execution of it is no mean feat either. Like any well-oiled machine that requires maintenance, SSOT needs to be frequently updated and filtered, which can be a cumbersome task. Flawed maintenance or an absence of SSOT can lead to several compliance and audit issues.
Unless the importance of an SSOT is communicated and agreed upon by an organization’s workforce, it will lose the purpose of maintaining a dynamic data repository and eventually hamper the ease of doing business. Think of a digital transformation project that is moving from decommissioning old legacy applications to cloud-hosted ones; without SSOT in place, it will become too complex to conduct proper due diligence, resolve data ambiguities, and rectify incidents during application deployment.
In any enterprise, the incorporation of additional data and intelligence into the systems will always be an ongoing process. It is how this data is stored, curated, and interpreted that can be a competitive advantage. An SSOT has the power to provide this autonomy by offering any organization a 360° view of its business operations.
This article was first published on TM Forum.