Why composable architecture is the future of digital for business

Why composable architecture is the future of digital for business


Abstract lines suggestive of composable technology
June 4, 2024
By Rob Bare

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As Gartner explains, Digital Experience Composability (DXC) is “emerging to handle digital multi-experience orchestration in a ‘headless,’ decoupled, composable world,” adding that “these tools allow developers to set up digital experiences and hand them to business users for day-to-day management in no-code environments.”

- Gartner 2023

It’s important to understand that traditional monolithic digital experience compositions (or DXPs) are large, complex systems designed to handle a wide range of functions. These platforms, such as Sitecore, Salesforce, Liferay and Adobe Experience, are comprehensive in their capabilities. Yet, they’re also inflexible and are costly to set up, maintain and update.

By contrast, composable architecture is a design approach that allows organisations to build software systems by combining smaller, independent components. This offers several advantages over monolithic DXPs, including greater flexibility, scalability, reuse, modularity and efficiency.

Flexibility at your fingertips

A key advantage of composable architecture is its flexibility. With a monolithic DXP, adding new features or modifying existing ones can disrupt the entire system or require lengthy waits for vendor updates. This can be frustrating for organisations eager to quickly and easily update their systems to meet evolving customer needs.

But composable architecture empowers organisations to add or modify individual components without affecting the rest of the system. This makes it much easier to update and improve the system over time, including integrating new content models, commerce, personalisation, experimentation and optimisation capabilities to name a few. It also means that packaged business capabilities (PBCs) or micro-services can be easily replaced if a more suitable or cost-effective offering comes to market.

Composable commerce abstract image

Scale on-demand

Scalability is another strong suit of composable architecture. As businesses evolve, their software systems must adapt and scale to meet their needs. With a monolithic DXP, it can be challenging to add new components or features without impacting the system's overall performance. However, composable architecture allows for the easy addition or modification of individual components. This makes it easier to adapt to changes in the business and meet the demands of a growing customer base.

“Composable modularity emerges as a response to the limitations of monolithic architecture, offering a framework that is both flexible and robust. It allows businesses to reconfigure components without overhauling entire systems, thus responding nimbly to technological and market shifts”

- Gartner 2024

Code smarter, not harder

Composable architecture also promotes reuse and modularity. As micro-services and website components can be used in multiple places within a system, developers can avoid duplicating effort, saving time and resources. It also makes it easier to maintain and troubleshoot the system, as problems can be isolated and addressed within a specific system rather than an entire monolithic application. This modularity makes it easier for organisations to update, improve and expand their digital capabilities over time, as they can easily swap out or add individual components as needed.

Reduce the roadblocks

Composable architecture enhances team efficiency and independence. Unlike monolithic DXPs, which may require multiple teams to collaborate on a single project—often leading to delays and friction—composable architecture allows teams to work on separate components concurrently. This setup reduces bottlenecks and accelerates productivity. Additionally, it enables greater API orchestration, integrating a wider range of technologies and systems to deliver innovative and personalised customer experiences.

Computer screen with code

Overall, composable architecture is the future of digital for business as it offers significant benefits over traditional monolithic systems. While it may require a different mindset and approach to development, when done properly, the benefits make it worth considering for organisations that are looking to improve their platforms, remain agile and competitive.

Headshot of Rob Bare

Rob Bare is an experienced digital strategist with a passion for helping businesses unlock their full potential in the digital realm. With a wealth of expertise across brands and verticals, Rob has successfully guided numerous organisations through transformative digital consultations. His deep understanding of technology, brand, CX, strategic thinking, and his collaborative approach make him a trusted advisor in driving growth and navigating digital transformation.

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