The Time is Right to Transform into a Composable Enterprise
Read time: 5 mins
We run a time-check into the future and bring you tech updates on why this is the best time to switch to a composable enterprise and get onto the business transformation bandwagon.
Is your organization future-proof, or do you still depend on monolithic ERP systems and hefty legacy applications with static processes?
This question has been ricocheting within the walls of boardrooms post the pandemic. Geo-political events have pushed leaders to rethink their business strategies, innovate faster, and find newer ways to engage with customers in a COVID-19 world. While emerging business opportunities require agility from application portfolios, many enterprises are still limited in their ability to adapt.
By transforming monolithic applications into a composable enterprise model, organizations can move fast and integrate new business applications without creating more data silos.
Rise of the composable enterprise
Until a few years ago, composability appeared to be a nascent phenomenon. Today, APIs, reusable open-source software components, and microservices make it happen every day. As a result, the composable enterprise has registered its presence everywhere, from cloud-native infrastructures to digital experiences, to how consumers interact with businesses across channels. Composable enterprises have a competitive edge, as indicated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Percentage of respondents ahead of competitors (Source: Gartner)
The term composable enterprise, coined by Gartner, refers to building block-like IT infrastructure that can help organizations be agile and respond faster to change. The pandemic proved that composable enterprises could quickly mobilize new services to meet customer demands. They can create digital competencies that others can leverage, thus extending the bounds of their enterprises. For example, Amazon has expanded its core competency of being an online retailer to become an IT solutions provider through Amazon Web Services. Due to the high composability of internal services, Amazon launched AWS way ahead of its competitors. Moreover, the composability of its supply chain makes it possible for Amazon to allow the cancellation of shipments while the delivery truck is on its way to a home. Similarly, Netflix facilitates binge-watching through the automatic launch of the next episode, while Boeing effectively uses digital twins in manufacturing.
The top movers have been those with technology platforms capable of responding quickly to market demands and disruptions, developing strategic business partnerships, generating new revenue streams, and offering add-ons while ensuring online responsiveness and reliability.
The intrinsic composability element within these enterprises — made possible by a resilient, flexible, and agile IT platform — has given them an edge over their competitors.
Let’s examine why the time is right to transform into a composable enterprise.
Triggers for the composable enterprise wave
Most businesses have recognized the need for digital transformation and the importance of providing customers with easier and faster access to products and services. This is precisely what a composable enterprise can achieve — rapid alignment with business changes and high business performance.
Deliver total experience with greater composability
A composability approach is the best way to capture all the advantages of modern enterprise software. According to Gartner, by 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace the competition by 80 percent with regard to the speed with which they implement new features. This shift will require enterprises to rethink how they architect their operations, harness a combination of packaged functions and technologies, and successfully deliver seamless moments of service to their customers and partners while giving the best experience to the business, IT, and developers.
Three fundamental principles to make the composability shift:
1) Velocity - scale component-based architecture with microservices
If applications are structured as loosely coupled services, companies can employ a composable architecture to capitalize on independently deployable modules. This would empower organizations to swap modules to suit emergent needs and build a best-fit solution for their unique business. Over time, this leads to increased velocity by:
- Decreasing lead time for changes: Low cycle time in ideas becoming production release code allows organizations with industry-leading performance to launch new features with one day of code commit.
- Increasing deployment frequency: The ability to increase deployment frequency so the business can scale on demand, with high adaptability to all devices.
- Enhancing mean time to recovery: Monitoring the packaged business capabilities along with the plug-and-play option’s quick fix to decrease production downtime.
2) Flexibility - embrace open-ended APIs to maximize data-sharing capabilities
APIs can provide a controlled method for connecting and sharing data by creating experiences tailored to individual needs. For instance, an API-centric model can secure and manage data access to help businesses make faster decisions and deliver relevant services in line with market changes. In the future, machine learning models will recommend process changes to improve outcomes for the business and the end customer through automated process improvements. A couple of other approaches to enhance flexibility include:
- Business and architecture modularity: One of the mandatory non-functional requirements of almost every software project is to enhance scalability, replaceability, and high availability.
- API-first: Expose capabilities-as-a-service at various levels of granularity.
- Cloud-first: Cloud is becoming significant in providing faster innovation. For instance, AI/ML model training and so on.
3) Modern integration and orchestration
Integration traditionally operated by a central team only allows for linear scaling and can cause bottlenecks. Modern integration promotes the use of ad-hoc integrators. However, while this ensures faster scalability, it can create governance, consistency, security, and compliance risks, apart from increasing technical costs. Some benefits would be witnessed in the:
- Lead time for changes: Design low-code integration platforms and robust operational/governance models to push rapid innovation.
- APIs: Reuse APIs that are interface entry points instead of developing new ones.
- Service mesh: Employ a mesh-based system with microservices and APIs to handle the communication processes.
- Engaging multiple software-as-a-service: Integrate tools to reduce technical and governance challenges.
Riding the composable enterprise wave
Composable enterprises are removing technology debt by modernizing their monolithic and legacy application portfolios. One of the ways composable enterprises support this is through the micro-frontend design approach. Here, a front-end app is decomposed into individual, semi-independent micro apps clustered loosely together. To surpass the limitations of monolithic applications, businesses must rethink their approach to enterprise applications — starting with the business architecture and technology stack.
An IT architecture built on a foundation of composability will be essential to successfully delivering a software-powered business development strategy that provides continual value to customers and the business.
Zensar’s Transform to Microservices framework gives you a powerful, software-defined, composable compute infrastructure solution. The intelligent composable enterprise, with its ability to quickly adapt and restructure to respond to changing trends, is something that every business today needs.
If you are keen to learn more about Zensar’s composable enterprise solution, write to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.