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Co-founder, COO & Chief Experience Officer at Fractalink Design Studio

Since its inception in 2010, Fractal Ink has seen the industry change from companies not comprehending the term ‘User experience’ to a surge of mobile applications flooding the market in the last decade. Business leaders recognized the value of using digital technologies to stay competitive, upgrade customer experiences, increase employee retention, build efficiencies and upscale partner/ vendor relationships.

In the blind race to be the first to create or play a catch-up game, we were a part of several of these asset creation projects right from end-consumer apps, sales tools, commerce apps to intranets, efficiency dashboards, CRM systems etc. What was interesting was these projects came with specific briefs with little or no room to diverge or question businesses at a strategic level about their wholistic view or vision. Quick-to-market being the main agenda rather than long term strategic planning. 

The result was loosely coupled applications with scattered customer/ partner/employee data and information and inconsistent customer experience, which further resulted in unsuccessful tapping of metadata within these artefacts that could have strengthened the respective relationships over time.

At the turn of this decade, we foresee companies taking a step back and trying to consolidate these digital assets that have created silos of information systems, a humungous amount of data and complex workflows creating multiple challenges for its varied users.

1. Scattered experience for end consumers

People have approximately 50 -100 apps on their mobile devices. Out which the ones they use frequently will be no more than 30. These take up the phone memory space and slow down your phone. They are constantly running background processes and accessing data. Constantly checking for push notifications even when not in use. Rate of consumers uninstalling apps within the first 30 days is going up drastically. 

Its time for consolidating. The smaller apps will become parts of bigger ecosystems. Some parts of the world have already advanced in creating such ecosystems that identify the users daily, weekly, monthly, annual needs and create user journeys that give customers wholistic access to these in a simple easy to use mechanisms. Consider Go-Jek from Indonesia – What started as a motor-cycle rideshare app has become an all in one mobile wallet, food delivery, lifestyle services and daily travel services, all-encompassing app. Similar to what WeChat, an instant messaging service became a lifestyle service with all major businesses in the country having their official account on the app. 

Driving on the principles of hyper-local, hyper-personalization, rewards and loyalty coupled with the layer of convenience and ease of transaction from start to end of a customer journey, these interventions have proven, to be winning consumers heart and space on their devices. It’s now time to reflect and build on consolidation and convenience as the pillars of success.

2. Maintenance nightmare for IT 

According to the Forrester report, most large organisations are maintaining around 280+ applications across their companies and for some, this number climbs up to 1000. These numbers indicate the KRA driven, tunnel vision, rat race the companies might have run into, to digitize their internal/ external processes without a clear plan of action. For internal IT teams, it meant more and more workload to maintain, update, version control, data consolidation etc. 

Now, if we need to hyper-personalize for our end customers it needs a single view of the consumer that is only possible if information flew into a single repository and one single push of an offer or rewards gets updated across all digital assets. Unlike, yester-years where developers had to spend loads of time to debug and test applications as soon a handset manufacturer updates its OS or the application sends and update across multiple screen sizes and resolutions, there is a need to use cloud tech and deliver tech or OEM agnostic solutions to consumers. Huge infrastructural costs were involved to host, create, update and maintain these assets on a regular basis eating up precious time of the IT folks. 

3. Weak partner/vendor relationships

Imagine a Mutual fund distributor who deals with various AMC’s regularly. Now each AMC is building a separate platform for them to manage their part of the business. The distributor has to log-in to multiple systems each time which makes it practically impossible for them to efficiently manage their business in a consolidated one view. So no matter how good a system, individual AMC’s create, if it fails to integrate with the larger eco-systems like NJ-wealth, it will continue to see lower adoption rate. 

Within the organizations too, when it comes to sales and services, organizations have separate systems for lead capturing, application processing, documentation setup, underwriting, claims settlement and these necessarily do not talk to each other. The sales agent ends up logging on to these various systems trying to remember user-ids and passwords for each with little or no advantage of already captured data in one system to the other. They need to render all this information multiple times creating duplication and errors in customer data. 

A consolidated sales tool with end to end consumer journey, not only increases employee efficiency and gets cleaner customer insight but also increases customer satisfaction and retention through transparent, personalized and customized journeys for them.

We at Fractal Ink, are working towards a vision to create such large-scale ecosystems that will allow organizations to seamlessly cut down the flab of digital assets. Consolidated experience & service blue-printing, pattern-based modelling, data consolidation methodologies, Convenience journey maps, design system establishment to allow flexibility on rendering mediums are some of our processes will be at the heart of creating these big eco-systems and activate platforms consolidation journeys for larger organizations across India and other geographies. 

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