This phenomenon is so common that it has up to name: the islands of information and describes the high dispersion of information in general and in particular that relating to the products and services of a company. Frequently reaches the end if necessary to go to external providers to get certain strategic information of the company, for example: is not uncommon to see that to collect some up-to-date products information is necessary to go to the external vendor that compiled the latest printed catalog 1. Possible causes are varied: the inherent technological difficulty. The enormous degree of heterogeneity that reaches the information in these structures is a difficult technical problem. A little disciplined organization that has to be very clear where it should be information and what channels It goes through. Accelerated processes of expansion which have forced several reorganizations in periods of times short, difficult to assimilate people and organization.
A growth policy for purchases of third companies that commits or consents that different organizational and computer systems coexist in parallel. Political or individual problems that impair the collaboration between departments. Etc, etc, etc. It is clear that to be able to operate easily with detailed information of its own products does not imply a factor of lack of coordination, and thus very significant costs and inefficiency. Thus making the annual catalogue (printed) of products, for example, usually a very costly in money and effort. A company in this situation is definitely faced a clear need to create a centralized repository of information for all your products. A common mistake is to think that this paper will fulfill a future system ERP or CRM, this is only on paper, since despite working very possibly with virtually all the product references, practically never cover all the relevant information from these. Thus an ERP system, for example, usually nor contemplated images, or technical characteristics of products, essential information for an exhibition catalogue.