Step Aside, Monoliths: Meet the Composable Enterprise

Createable project, defined by Gartner As an “organization that delivers business results and adapts to the pace of business change,” it relies on the assembly of interchangeable application building blocks. This architectural reform was largely driven by the demand for more configurable application experiences, and the need to develop existing application portfolios that are often too risky and expensive to replace.

New business opportunities require flexibility from application portfolios; However, many companies are still limited in their ability to adapt. why? They are based on monolithic ERP systems and cumbersome legacy applications with static processes and arbitrary structures. A modular setup can enable a company to rearrange as needed depending on external or internal factors, such as shifts in consumer attitudes or sudden disruptions in the supply chain. Organizations are now experiencing these transformations and require a new approach to enterprise applications in order to be able to adapt.

CX gap bridging with greater compatibility

The compostability approach is the best way to capture all the benefits of modern enterprise software. According to the post Bomi reportBy 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outperform the competition by 80% in the speed with which new features are implemented. This transformation requires organizations to rethink how they design their operations, harnessing a range of aggregated functions and technologies and successfully delivering seamless moments of service to their customers.

There are three main ways companies can change composability:

  • Adopt a service mindset
  • Expand the scope of microservices
  • Mobilize business capabilities with application programming interfaces (APIs).

1. Design for Service: Compete for results, not products

A buildable organization whose portfolio of heterogeneous applications consists of a suite of best-in-class solutions allows organizations to address key inflection points throughout the lifecycle of each customer, product or service.

As more consumers demand continued value and reliability throughout the life of an asset, companies must shift to selling results and experiences rather than products to meet these new expectations of high-quality service. This requires that every part of the process align, not around immediate sales or revenue, but about delivering a quality service moment – the inflection point where everything comes together to create value and better outcomes for customers.

Moving to a service provider model requires a compostable stack to provide on-demand services. At the systems level, this transformation requires organizations to dynamically adapt applications and deliver positive customer experiences through effective quality management, customer support, and access to complete service delivery information. Unlike traditional enterprise software, this involves connecting data and applications that are often located in separate repositories. A buildable enterprise can provide a service-oriented architecture, enabling companies to become results-driven and ready to quickly adapt to future disruptions.

2. Component-based architecture scale with microservices

If applications are built as loosely coupled services, companies can use a composable architecture to take advantage of independently deployable modules that are organized around business capabilities. This allows organizations to swap modules in and out, to suit emerging needs and build the best, well-structured solution suitable for their unique business.

Unlike a monolithic architecture, companies can easily add resources to much-needed microservices rather than having to scale an entire application as demand for an application increases. In practice, this allows companies to simplify customizable workflows and improve business processes while leveraging and applying tools such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, or the plethora of superior automation capabilities available today.

3. Embrace open APIs to maximize data sharing capabilities

Aggregate Business Capabilities (PBC) bundled with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are the foundation of every configurable enterprise. They are used by companies to secure data across cloud services, business systems, and mobile apps. Historically, APIs were used in monolithic applications to exchange data between the entire application and external applications and services. In composable software, APIs exchange data from individual modules to external applications and within the application – from one module to another. This has major implications for how systems are designed and built.

APIs can provide a controllable and expendable way to connect and share consumer and business data by creating experiences tailored to individual needs. For example, an API-centric model can secure and manage data access to help companies make faster decisions and deliver new, relevant services that are adaptable to market changes. In the future, there will be more continuous automated process improvements as machine learning models recommend or even proactively make process changes to improve outcomes for business and end customers.

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To overcome the limitations of monolithic applications, companies must rethink their approach to enterprise applications – starting with business architecture and technology stack. A buildable software architecture enables organizations to address internal and external stresses that send shock waves through the value chain.

As a buildable organization, organizations can re-engineer their business to ensure customer touchpoints and stages come together for better moments of service, but companies must be sure to optimize operations across each of these inflection points to mitigate issues and boost growth. An IT architecture built on the foundation of composability will be essential to the successful delivery of a software-enabled business development strategy that can provide continued value to customers and the business itself.

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