Digital transformation has affected businesses across the whole spectrum and one commonality is the speed of digitalisation which has significantly increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to these shifts in the business landscape, there’s a critical need to be agile and able to change gears quickly whilst being prepared for the future.
Those who haven’t been able to apply agility in practise have suffered and even gone out of business because of their inability to meet new demands. There are a number of reasons why some businesses struggle to be agile, for example, those with old, legacy systems that are expensive to maintain yet hard to get rid of because they’re complex and have been relied on for so long.
Legacy systems can make processes across a business slow and data is usually siloed so it’s not possible to integrate systems easily or make use of data to gain insight for better decision making.
You’ve probably seen the stories about companies that have suffered setbacks because of legacy systems. For example, in 2016, Southwest Airlines cancelled 2,300 flights when a router failed, delaying hundreds of thousands of passengers. Recent research shows that 74% of companies have started a legacy system modernisation project that they failed to complete.
Keep reading to learn about composable business – a strategy that can help companies achieve resilience in these changing times.
Modularity and composable business
Composability is a term that’s gaining momentum and being hailed as the way to “achieve digital acceleration, greater resiliency and the ability to innovate through disruption”, according to Gartner. Essentially, a composable business is one built with three elements in mind:
- Composable thinking is the belief in composability and a culture of modularity, orchestration, autonomy and discovery to make decisions on what to compose within the business and when.
- Composable business architecture: Building a business with flexibility and a structure that allows for assembling and reassembling different parts of the business elements according to the demands of the digital era. Think modularity.
- Composable technologies are the various digital components within a company that are used as building blocks to create or change business processes and capabilities.
The culmination of these principles enables businesses to pivot fast which has been critical to staying relevant and profitable in uncertain times or during turmoil, such as during the pandemic. Composability ensures it’s possible to meet the changing demands of customers and employees through accelerated digital strategies.
How to achieve composability in business
From a technologies point of view, IT and business must work together in an agile methodology to choose modular or configurable platforms. Software that can change, extend and adapt to different use cases by design and where you can plug in new and emerging technologies as and when they emerge.
Modern cloud data platforms and taking an API-first approach to developing and integrating third-party technologies are effective strategies to get behind for businesses wanting to implement composability and future-proof themselves. Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines give technology teams the means to work at speed and roll out new features, therefore delivering maximum resiliency to the overall business strategy, at scale.
What to look for in technology vendors
- Platforms that are configurable, adaptable and modular. Avoid point solutions that are rigid and only useful for a single use case.
- A platform that can integrate with current business systems via APIs.
- Vendors with an in-house delivery team that follow agile methodologies, working in short “sprints” of work with a fluid roadmap.
Avoid using technologies and software with a rigid roadmap and vendors that use long, static, waterfall-style processes. These development methodologies are stuck in the past and don’t inspire innovation and resilience. Avoid platforms that won’t easily integrate with other technologies as data silos will only emerge from this.
By achieving composability, businesses can keep customers happy through continuous improvement and the ability to change as the market does. Composability helps keep your business protected by locking in future profitability and growth.