Investigating the IT Silo problem: From Strict to Adaptive mirroring between IT Architecture and Organisational Health Services


  • Egil Øvrelid Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway


A crucial problem reducing efficient information flow within healthcare is the presence of siloed IT architectures. Siloed IT Architectures causes disruptive and disconnected information flow within and between health institutions, and complicates the establishment of qualitative health services to practitioners and citizens. In this paper, we analyze this challenge using a mirroring lens. Our research question is, how can we establish a supportive IT architecture that reduces the IT silo problem? Our empirical evidence comes from a case in Norway, where we analyzed a transformation initiative on the national, regional, and local levels. Our investigation into the IT silo problem contributes to the literature on information flow and IT architecture within healthcare in two ways. First, we find that strict mirroring that leads to sub-optimization and silofication, is a major cause for the presence of IT silos. Second, we demonstrate how adaptive mirroring – a modular strategy for combining global and local requirements in IT architecture – improves the changeability and manageability of IT architectures.