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The technology building blocks driving enterprise agility
Fri, 20th Oct 2023

A decade ago, generative AI was a concept of science fiction, but today, it has become a widespread tool for organisations worldwide. Agility is paramount to keep pace with rapidly accelerating digital change. That's why setting up your business to be adaptable, data-driven, and flexible is the key to survival in a world of innovative tech-native startups.

So, what is composability?
Composability revolutionises your business by adopting a modular setup fuelled by internal and external data. Think of composability like LEGO blocks. You can build something, and then it's relatively easy to change into something else. Picture these LEGO blocks as different modules of your software. Being able to change elements piece by piece is much more efficient than having to rebuild an entire system every time.

Who is adopting composability?
Composability emerged as a counterargument to monolithic applications around five years ago. In the past, organisations built interconnected monolithic applications, where if one part failed, the entire system suffered. Today, the trend is towards shared infrastructure, decoupled yet composable. Building blocks scale both horizontally and vertically.

Transitioning from monolithic can be a tedious task, often involving integrating microservices until monolithic is no longer needed. While monolithic may never completely disappear, it becomes invisible to end consumers and organisations.

Benefits of composability
In an era of rapid technological change, agility is more critical than ever. To be agile and resilient, businesses must adapt easily to tech and software changes, offer more products or services, and cope with disruption. Composability should be a top priority, saving time and money when adapting and improving software and systems.

Agility and resilience
Imagine agility as a versatile function that can be used in various ways, serving different applications and areas of your business. When done right, as seen with AWS (Amazon Web Services), it works exceptionally well. Granular unit testing becomes more manageable, allowing for an understanding of what's functioning and what's not. Components can be independently scaled, even during high-demand events like Black Friday.

Composability involves creating reusable tech components, ensuring that one failure won't take the entire application offline. Let's consider Amazon as an example. It relies on multiple micro servers. If one component, such as product recommendations, experiences a failure, customers can still browse and make purchases.

Barriers to adopting composability
Legacy technology poses challenges when transitioning to composability. Security and risk are always concerns, and organisations often choose to replace high-risk elements first. There's a risk vs. pace argument that businesses need to grapple with, and rigorous testing is essential before migration.

Complexity and challenges for small businesses
Complexity increases with composability, as it involves managing many smaller, discrete components. Different teams often oversee these components, leading to complexities in governance, ownership, and management. Small businesses may lack the support and resources to fully adopt composability. Different teams might develop different APIs, leading to communication challenges within the organisation. Changes in APIs can disrupt downstream consumers' workflows, making coordination crucial.

Scaling with control
Scalability plays a crucial role in composability. Microservices can scale independently, enhancing resilience and reliability. However, this transition should be done in a controlled manner. For instance, you might consider replacing the front end while keeping legacy systems in the background, gradually working your way back. The ability to independently scale, secure, and implement small incremental changes makes composability a must for most organisations.

The future is composable
Embracing composability will make your business adaptable and flexible in the face of rapid technological and software changes. Viewing your business through the lens of composability will enable easy adaptation and ultimately save time, resources, and money during periods of change.

The future is composable, and it's time for your enterprise to join the revolution.