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In recent years, business model fragility has been exposed – largely due to large-scale disruption prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Between October 2020 and January 2021, it is estimated that one-fourth of companies saw sales fall by 50%¹, as many struggled to adapt to sudden changes amid an unstable economy and the acceleration of digital transformation.
However, the pandemic also revealed that companies who adapted their business models were able to survive and even enhance business performance. According to Gartner², resilience and adaptability are at the core of this approach known as composable business, defined as a ‘natural acceleration of the digital business that you live everyday’³. And with the continuing prevalence of post-pandemic ripples, supply chain interruptions and rapid digitization, more companies are turning to composability as the antidote to disruption.
Composable business can be imagined as a set of interchangeable building blocks that can be arranged, reassembled, and discarded depending on changing external or internal factors. This modular setup breaks down bulky applications into individual components that can be maintained independently and quickly to avoid losses in performance and productivity.
In the economic climate of today and tomorrow, the only certainty for businesses is uncertainty. Composability provides a viable solution to allow businesses to pivot their operations with the ability to adapt by changing individual business components. With this flexibility, leaders can identify effective solutions to ensure the delivery of critical business outcomes.
Composability is also vital to staying competitive. In a survey, Gartner found 63% of CIOs⁴ at companies with high composability reported superior business performance when compared with competitors and peers.
Other evident benefits could be seen when following 4 key principles of composable business, as listed by Gartner:
• More speed through discovery
• Greater agility through modularity
• Better leadership through orchestration
• Resilience through autonomy
Gartner identifies the main building blocks of a composable business model, that when combined with the key principles, allow organizations to pivot successfully when needed.
• Composable thinking
This is the mentality that anything is composable. It encourages leaders to embrace their creativity when identifying how and when certain elements of the business need to be composed.
Composable thinking means moving past traditional business thinking and encouraging new thoughts to drive business value. Gartner’s research found that developing a high-trust culture that promotes autonomous decision-making can lead to successful implementation of composability. For example, composable thinking empowers teams to respond and form fresh ideas when met with new challenges.
Combining composable thinking with the four principles enables companies to be more flexible when responding to changing customer needs and unpredictable events. This is because it allows business to consider numerous future scenarios, such as changes in the market, shifts in customer behavior and potential future expansion.
• Composable business architecture
Composable business architecture focuses on building a secure, flexible, and resilient architecture that is prepared for constant change. Combining a clear purpose with structural capabilities, organizations are given the tools to architect their business with a focus on key areas, such as engagement, technology, and capability.
The idea of composable business architecture serves as a guide for companies seeking to identify and implement changes regarding business initiatives and technology investment decisions. This aids in preparing a suitable model and foundation that supports the acceleration of the digital economy.
• Composable technologies
Gartner describes them as ‘the tools for today and tomorrow’. They are the foundation of digital transformation, and therefore play a major role in shaping business of now and in future. In this context, the four principles should be used as product design goals in order to develop technologies with features that support composability.
Successfully leveraging composable technology means moving away from legacy applications and embracing a strong technological foundation, such as the inclusion of automation to improve consistency, speed, and quality. The distributed cloud and artificial intelligence are also tied to composability as they facilitate modular technology capabilities.
IT infrastructure must be able to support the fast-paced integration of new systems while workplace technology should have the capabilities to support the exchange of ideas. Adopting a composable approach to tech allows companies to improve agility and identify the right solution at the right time.
While composability offers many solutions, successful implementation is not without challenge. Composable business requires companies to effectively observe and manage their entire infrastructure to ensure their technological foundation is resilient to change. Leaders must also remodel business structures to support innovation while encouraging an open mindset throughout the company.
At Evernex, we provide a range of IT Life Services that can facilitate the transition. To support businesses embarking on a shift to composability, we offer:
Outsourcing expertise to a third-party means companies get access to a large team of experienced and multi-vendor trained IT technicians. This gives businesses resilience with the ability to operate their hardware efficiently and safely for longer periods and receive on-demand support from local experts whenever they need to adapt to novel conditions, such as rapid technological developments and changing consumer demands.
• Spare as a Service (SPaaS™)
To maintain a strong and adaptable technological foundation in times of resource scarcity, Spare as a Service (SPaaSTM) ensures that companies get access to the right components at the right time, reducing downtime and promoting productivity. The use of spare parts to maintain systems also prevents companies from purchasing expensive new equipment, with cost-savings free to be channeled into other composable investments.
• Financial aid
Businesses can also add flexibility to their IT outfit with financial aid. Rental and leasing of core infrastructure components enables businesses to quickly scale their IT capabilities up or down, streamlining their operational costs and enhancing availability depending on demand. Pressure to keep pace with digital transformation is intense, which also makes this an optimal solution to do so without creating a large dent in their budget.
Disruption is inevitable. But businesses who have adopted a composable model have shown it’s possible to survive despite it – and instead turn it into an opportunity. With the right mindset and an overhaul in the management of people, processes and technology that prioritizes their ability to adapt and change, CIOs have the opportunity to guide their businesses in a new and more prosperous direction.
Sep 25 2019