Matthew  Williams Matthew Williams

At Quba, enterprise level Content Management Systems and digital platforms have provided the backbone of our service offering for over 20 years. About 10 years ago the term DXP was coined, a ‘feature rich’ solution that could cater for every possible type of customer experience and promising us new levels of control. A one stop shop.

Over time it became a bit like an arms race – who can build the highest number of features and functions into a platform. The “all in one” meant buyers felt they were getting great value with a “super charged” product. Anything from personalisation to marketing automation and email delivery was part of the package.

Due to their size and scale, these “all in one” solutions became known as monoliths.

Getting everything a business needed from a monolith was a great experience – even though it could be argued that buyers rarely use all of the available functionality. 

The monolith dream was well underway.

An ever-evolving digital world

Digital platforms evolved. Content consumption shifted. Businesses were called to create mobile responsive displays, applications, social platforms and omnichannel strategies started to gain ground.

As the ways in which we accessed and consumed content changed, so did the demands from monoliths – which naturally struggled to keep up.

Recent changes in the market have accelerated this transition – the evolving needs of consumers and the workplace have demanded that the digital suite step up and simplify our lives. Flexibility and speed have taken centre stage, calling for new and innovative digital solutions or different approaches to the digital suite.

As monoliths increased in size, so did their demands. Increasingly complicated, costly and with challenges in the upgrade, monoliths started creating limitations for businesses.

They have become a victim of their own success. We’ve wanted more, they’ve delivered more but like a giant oil tanker, this complexity has meant that making changes has become slow. Even simple front-end changes to react to customer needs has required excessive code changes across the whole system.

The proliferation of cloud technologies has brought about an explosion in SaaS based tools. Marketers and digital teams now have a vast choice of specialist, niche digital tools at their disposal, that cater for our exact requirements. Contrary to the “all in one” monoliths, they offer exactly what’s needed for businesses to drive growth and sustain competitive advantage in a world where agility and speed create value.

Adding to the ease that cloud systems introduced to our day to day are subscription based models, removing a massive layer of complexity and specialist skills required to host and manage an installed CMS platform.

There’s a quiet revolution taking place

Nimble systems that enable professional teams to adapt easily and pivot quickly are made possible by a range of technologies allowing us to connect different pieces of the puzzle.

Taking a step away from supercharged products that offer a host of services – but not enough flexibility to tailor the suite to a business’s unique needs – there is a case to be made in favour of a future architecture, made up of many parts or pieces.

The pieces fit together easily, facilitate the use of best of breed technologies across the board, carry less cost, spread risk, empower professional teams to work independently and contribute to novel user experiences.

This is where composable architecture comes in – enabling the connection of various systems for digital suites that are nimble, tailored to the business’s needs and easily scalable – proving that the future is in pieces.

The case for composable architecture

There are multiple ways to approach composable architecture. The underlying rationale is connecting disparate systems to create digital business capabilities that can be exchanged easily and scaled quickly.

Although composable architecture can be tailored to a business, the principles guiding this shift in approach have been summarised by the MACH Alliance.

The MACH Alliance advocates for an ecosystem leveraging best-of-breed enterprise technology – “Microservices based, API-first, Cloud- native SaaS and Headless”.

Urging us to reinvent the way we approach technology in business, the MACH principles introduce a paradigm shift.

Microservices are the pieces, brought together by APIs and enabled by the cloud. Distinct capabilities can be deployed and scaled independently, with their connections allowing for the changes to cause less disruption for the wider architecture at lower cost and with spread out risk.

Headless content management systems and ecommerce platforms have separate content creation and development layers that contribute to an agile set up, while offering a host of benefits for the business and its professional teams.

The MACH principles set a different pace for enterprise digital suites, nudging businesses looking to build a CX strategy that excels, towards composable architecture.

Why customer experiences matter

In recent years, it has become evident that customer experience matters. Research by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services, sponsored by Salesforce, shows CX as a top-five business priority.

This is far from surprising, as research indicates experiences play a key role for customers. Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer” report found that  92% of customers said that a positive customer experience makes them more likely to make another purchase, while 71% said they’ve made purchase decisions based on customer service quality.

In a world where the number of platforms brands need to be present in has increased rapidly and CX expectations across digital journeys are driven by digital leaders, composable architecture offers an approach to digital tools that empowers businesses to put consumers and content at the heart of their operations.

The future is in pieces

Flexibility, speed of delivery and scalability are pivotal to creating optimal customer experiences that stand out and drive growth.

Stakd: The future is in pieces brings together a panel of industry experts that will take a dive into customer experience trends and insights and highlight new and innovative choices offered by cloud-based systems and composable architecture.

Join us on June 30th, in Central London, to discover what’s new, what’s trending and what has the best potential to positively impact your customer experience. Register here!