In this article, we discuss the perils of system fragmentation within an enterprise and some of the associated risks that have the potential to detract from optimal customer journeys.
In our previous article at Cyferd, we discussed the necessity for digital transformation within enterprises. However, part of the path to successfully implementing digital transformation within an enterprise comes with the need to avoid fragmentation. How can fragmentation negatively affect businesses trying to modernize?
Fragmentation comes as a result of complex, siloed, and isolated systems within an enterprise. BPM Institute suggests that “business fragmentation occurs when critical processes aren’t managed as an integrated system”, leading to information silos. Meanwhile, a report from Intelligent Management suggests that fragmentation can lead to sub-optimization of business processes, stating that “complexity science has taught us that the whole is NOT the sum of its parts. We need our companies today to be built for speed of flow and that means as a whole system”.
Fragmentation can occur when businesses often use different systems for different needs; Futurum Research lists “private clouds, public clouds, as-a-Service systems, shadow IT, BYOD programs, legacy platforms, older devices, and new software” as different systems that security teams are required to deal with, suggesting that this can increase information silos and the potential for security risks.
The drawbacks to having fragmented systems are clear: development complexity, redundancy, cost, and security risks are all factors that could be affected in a business if systems aren’t able to effectively communicate and transfer data. BPM Institute even warns of a greater threat: “in extreme cases, the loss of value is deadly and businesses go extinct… workflows become a complex series of handoffs between functions, jobs and information systems. Each handoff represents an opportunity to introduce error, delay and added cost”. Additionally, fragmentation can amplify bad customer service; if businesses are required to spend more time dealing with complex and disparate systems, it cuts down on valuable time needed to help customers.
For example, most banks have disparate systems which contribute to clients experiencing sub-optimal user journeys, adding friction in the process of completing tasks and doing business. Many banking customers utilize multiple financial products from their bank, such as a savings account, credit card, or a loan. The bank holds data on different products, as well as customer earning and spending habits; however, should the client apply for a new product like a mortgage, the bank will need to ask them unnecessary repeat questions. This is a process that occurs due to fragmented back-end systems. In this example, removing a large percentage of repeat questions from a mortgage application process will simplify and accelerate outcomes and drive revenue, whilst also providing the applicant with a smoother interaction.
The Cyferd Platform is inherently primed to tackle the issue of fragmentation. Because the apps built using the platform are cloud-native and can reuse, extend, and replace previously integrated data, joins, navigations and views, different business systems are interconnected, reducing the chance for fragmentation. Data is innovated at the source rather than added on over time; intelligent navigation, workflows, and a no-code interface all make it easier for teams to access and integrate data, decreasing the potential for fragmented systems and making business solutions accessible.