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When Data Makes Friends: Interoperability

Have you ever stopped to marvel at your cell phone's ability to make and receive calls, regardless of the manufacturer or service provider on either end of the phone call? This is a triumph of interoperability: the ability of different systems to exchange and make use of the same information.

Today's businesses depend on the smooth and secure transfer of data collected from and shared across wildly diverging platforms. From databases to websites, IoT devices to software applications, interoperability is crucial to our heavily interconnected world. When you enhance interoperability, you ensure that your information infrastructure seamlessly finds, stores, accesses, and shares data in all of its formats.

If you work in healthcare, you’ve probably already heard plenty about interoperability. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) mandated the switch to electronic health records (EHRs) making interoperability in medical IT systems a high priority. It is also a key concern for fields like public safety, e-Government, and disaster mitigation. But no matter the sector, every business needs a system that efficiently collects, stores, and accesses information regardless of input system or output platform.

What are ways you can improve the interoperability of the data your business relies upon?

  • Structure your data so that automation can do the work for you. Building an IT infrastructure that can read different forms of data and automate processes based on that input allows for greater efficiency and more responsive customer service.
  • Establish a shared language, so that all users understand how to access and read the data. Creating a framework for employees, clients, and organizational partners means that stakeholders get the most out of your services. The timely communication of data between users improves workflows.
  • Create organizational protocols around security and access. Ensure that the data you collect and share is used in a way that meets legal, organizational, and security requirements. Structuring your system so that sensitive information is only accessible to those with the proper authorizations cements trust in your business

If you are interested in learning more about how to improve interoperability in your systems, contact the computer scientists at XorFox for a free consultation.

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