Luminary Chiefs Q&A, By Leena Iyar
What is digital fragmentation and why should organizations care?
Digital fragmentation is when the flow of communication in the digital workspace is restricted by the use of multiple tools or disjointed channels. When businesses choose to leverage multiple digital offerings, then simple workflows become a complicated series of handoffs between different tools and functions. When this occurs, the door opens for miscommunication, or worse, the loss of data stored across these channels.
When the processes and communications of your teams become fragmented, it requires more work to meet the evolving expectations of your customers and drive value for all stakeholders in a digital-first environment.The reason organizations should care is because as businesses strive to remain in touch with the latest technologies, they often alter their models to implement various tools to support workflows and communication. However, these disjointed channels rarely work in cohesion, and are neither efficient nor effective at providing a seamless client experience.
You mentioned the evolving expectations of customers. How does digital fragmentation prevent businesses from keeping up with these?
Customers are always mobile, and immersed digitally. Whether it be to schedule a ride, order dinner or check a bank account, customers expect a flawless digital experience — it’s part of how the new generation of thinking expects business to be conducted.
The same rules apply in the workplace. So, when teams become digitally fragmented, they’re failing to implement this forward-thinking brought on by the new generation of business professionals and customers.
A key to conducting business in the digital age, is to opt for technology that helps power conversational business. Since 2020, the focus has shifted heavily to automating certain processes, but customers still expect personalized interactions. Therefore, it’s important to ensure a conversational element is built into and lives within the business.
Another expectation of customers using business technology today is that their tools are secure. Operating from disjointed channels poses a huge risk for data privacy, as the likelihood of losing that data across channels increases. However, having a client management hub not only creates more secure transactions, but allows teams to create more personalized interactions with their clients by leveraging the data collected in that single platform.
Why have most digital fragmentation solutions failed, and what solutions and/or strategies currently exist to combat the effects of digital fragmentation?
Implementing a unified digital solution can help combat digital fragmentation by eliminating silos within your business and increasing connectivity as a whole. Although many organizations have tried to solve for digital fragmentation, this has usually been at the expense of adopting more technology, which is what caused the problem in the first place. Additionally, many digital solutions might only offer temporary relief to a business issue with deeper-seated problems, and fail to create any lasting change around workflows, collaboration and security.
To determine what digital solution might be best in your case, businesses should start by understanding the needs of their customers and employees around workflow processes. Once identified, organizations should look to fill in the white space with a digital channel that’s customizable to those needs and eliminates bottlenecks.
Moxo’s client management hub provides an all-in-one experience, including customizable workflows, just-in-time assistance via chat and a suite of collaboration tools to support the entire client lifecycle. Teams can work more efficiently as it eliminates the friction caused by old processes and disparate channels of communication.
What are the underlying causes of digital fragmentation?
In the past, businesses would make decisions on what was otherwise known as the physical infrastructure: the location of the office, which walls to knock down, the arrangement of the conference room, chairs, workstations, etc. Today, leaders are thinking about what is the best digital infrastructure for business, keeping in mind company culture, values and plans for the future.
But as the demand for digital-first interactions continued to gain traction, we noticed the haste in which tech leaders would implement various digital tools thinking they were setting themselves up for success to meet the digital service demand. In recent data from Moxo, 96% of employees said they’re using one or more digital tools to manage service delivery to clients; 61% said they’re using four or more. This is proof that businesses need to find a more comprehensive way to manage the client life cycle, without the use of many disparate channels.
Do you think digital fragmentation–and the distraction that accompanies it–is representative of broader trends in modern civilization? If so, what are they?
Digital fragmentation is indicative of some larger trends. People today are digitally immersed and inundated with information. But in the context of consumer-facing services, it’s not really a problem. You may have an app for GPS, or to read the news or to edit a picture, but in the context of business, this is where the challenges arise. Customers don’t want to have to go through several different channels to complete a simple business interaction.
In addition, with today’s remote-first options and teams expanding beyond the office walls, it’s harder to create a cohesive experience where teams feel connected, regardless of where they are working from. More often than not, disjointed, fragmented communications go untracked and teammates find themselves having to arrange the catch-up meeting.
Despite users’ tendency to leverage multiple applications and communication tools, this trend is not conducive to conducting business. But with a OneStop portal, it acts as the official digital HQ, eliminating the need for multiple channels.
What would you say the future of digital business is shaping up to be?
In recent years, businesses have adopted many digital offerings in order to accommodate customer needs. While this was once revered for creating a convenient experience by allowing customers to replace in-person interactions with virtual ones, in this age, it has contributed to digital fragmentation and inefficiencies in business processes.
The future of digital business is a much more global and connected business experience. Today, it can be expanded exponentially, with digital tools that allow organizations to collaborate from anywhere with their clients and relationships. Now, digital businesses must look towards how they can unify their digital offerings into one hub, to create more streamlined experiences for both their employees and clients.
What non-technological solutions would you recommend to combat the fragmented life?
There are several non-technological ways for businesses to combat fragmentation, and they can begin with an audit of your processes. The first step toward breaking fragmentation is to evaluate your company’s current workflows for bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Working through a disjointed system can cause unnecessary frustration for both clients and employees. The best way to streamline interactions is by looking for ways to reduce unnecessary steps to avoid convoluted processes, both internally and externally with clients.
Soliciting feedback from users on the benefits and challenges of specific business processes is also critical in creating a system that works for all users. The last thing you want is to invest time and resources in an application that doesn’t work well for users. Individuals involved in the management of digital strategies should be sure to ask for feedback regularly from users of their digital offering. Having a feedback submission portal to gain insights on the current workings of the digital business can help combat issues of fragmentation.
Tell us an interesting anecdote about how digital fragmentation has been conquered, from within Moxo?
At Island Pet Movers, a pet relocation service, the implementation of a client management hub provided by Moxo has enabled the business to combat digital fragmentation. Relocating a pet across long distances certainly isn’t easy. It often involves paperwork, additional costs and loads of communication that can build up at the last minute. For families moving, the additional task of transferring a pet can create additional stress and frustration.
The team at Island Pet Movers wanted to find a way to better manage client accounts. Island Pet Movers brought on Moxo to implement a OneStop platform where the company can communicate with clients via messages, photos and live videos. This enabled Island Pet Movers to streamline the entire process with clients. Not only was the team able to share government forms securely with clients and receive digital signatures directly on the platform, but Island Pet Movers could keep clients in the loop throughout their pet’s entire move, so clients wouldn’t be worrying about the status of their pets. With their new app, Island Pet Movers is able to better help families relocate their pets, easing the burden and allowing clients to focus on their move.