No organization is immune. Even the most innovative organizations struggle to connect teams around common missions, visions and goals. When information isn’t being shared, it’s your bottom line that takes the hit.

In an ideal world, every team member would be on the same page, in the loop about important projects, and focused on initiatives that move the needle. Information would flow freely, employees would have the resources that they need on-demand, and there would be zero organizational redundancies.

However, the harsh truth is that it’s going to be impossible for organizations to wholly eradicate team silos. There are initiatives, however, that business leaders can implement to position teams in the right direction. Accelerate change through impactful, methodical steps. Here are 5 ideas to get you started on breaking down business silos.

1. Implement systems for file collaboration

One of the biggest challenges that teams face is the absence of a unified file sharing platform and collaboration tool. Rather than storing information in a central place, employees are sharing files through email — often generating confusion about up-to-date versions. A cloud-based, enterprise content management (ECM) or collaboration (ECC) platform can help streamline communication and eliminate confusion. A company-wide system and robust administration features will help with breaking business silos, ensuring that people have open access to the right information.

2. Design a mobile device management strategy

The mobile revolution launched seemingly overnight. Team members are accessing information at all hours of the day, no matter where they are in the world. Even still, companies are lagging behind in implementing official BYOD policies — leaving team members confused about how to best stay connected. Eliminate potential confusion by setting expectations upfront, and have a robust BYOD policy in place that all employees are signed off on.

3. Create a global view of your workforce

At any given time, executive teams should maintain an operational view of their workforces. Take time to evaluate ongoing initiatives in-depth. This vantage point will help you evaluate potential redundancies and areas of overlap.

Identify opportunities for breaking business silos and building bridges between teams — helping them share IP, resource, and assets. The first step to efficiency will be awareness.

4. Encourage open dialogue

One of the biggest barriers to transparency is a fear of making mistakes. From a process optimization perspective, it’s crucial to build a culture that allows team members to communicate experiment results, changes in direction and learnings openly, with a positive mindset.

Practice discussions, coach your teams, and actively solicit feedback. Open dialogue is a practice that takes time to master — and will be crucial to your organization in the long run.

5. Invest in education

Webinars, knowledge centers and resource hubs will be important information management tools for breaking business silos. Employees are eager to learn about your organization’s big picture. As fast as you’re running, it’s important to take a step back and ensure that every employee has quick and efficient access to the information they need. Empower teams to self-direct their own communication and learning, both through technology and processes.

Breaking down information silos is part of a larger information optimization strategy. So how can you best make your information work for you?