The Elephant in the Room

In the United States, the term “the elephant in the room” is a term that means that we have something obvious that everyone is ignoring. In our laboratory informatics industry, our “elephant” that we seem to like to avoid talking about is the merging of our industry – the fact that we are undergoing a huge change, where software products no longer fit into the neat categories we’ve created for them and where one of our top three problems as an industry is that of integrating all the software together.

Considering all this, one would think we’d be eager to come together as an industry to make the path of integration easier for the customers or, at the least, easier to understand the issues about integration. However, it’s tough to find people to tackle this topic.I understand when customers who work in a specific area can only spend their time and money working with that particular type of software, but for the global companies, they are dealing with the incredibly difficult topic of integration and of keeping-up with the changes to our industry. But for those of us actually in the industry, we remain siloed (if you read the newsletter in January, that was exactly the topic, if you were just thinking this seems familiar). We talk about integration, then go off to do it alone. Since we are all competing with each other, maybe that will never change, but if it doesn’t, I think we will continue to struggle with these constant changes.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

2 responses on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. Yours is not the only industry siloed. I see it in others. When I started in the banking industry in 1980 we were siloed. That changed with deregulation and bank mergers. Those mergers and going across state lines forced the silos out and the integration of data to begin. The same will happen in your industry.

  2. Integration is not a new problem in the lab informatics space. So long as vendors continue to want to lock in their customers to proprietary solutions and refuse to fully embrace and adopt standards, the problem will continue. It has always been about protecting profits more than benefiting the customer.

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