Creating Your Roadmap for Composable: A Step-by-Step Guide

The time for composable is now! Digital, Marketing, and IT leaders are being tasked with creating a roadmap for adopting composable in their digital ecosystems. Composable is simple – it’s a way to think, design, and deploy digital applications using smaller building blocks (APIs and Packaged Business Capabilities). Simply defined, composable is like building with Lego except you get to use Lego (Micro-services) from different providers. You use Lego and groups of Lego (Packaged Business Capabilities) as your building blocks, and they are all guaranteed to fit together and work nicely under a common reference framework (MACH). Composable is not a new concept but technology and frameworks like headless, SaaS, and MACH have made composable a reality now.

For leaders seeking to craft a roadmap for their composable digital ecosystem, digital experience, or commerce, the following steps can be instrumental:

Step 1: Start with Customer Journeys

A composable roadmap should always align with a digital roadmap. One of the primary advantages of composability is the ability to focus on the customer lifecycle or value chain, allowing you to compose experiences and capabilities that hold significance for your customers. Some examples of customer journeys to consider encompass:

  • Discovery
  • Engagement
  • Conversion
  • Post-Conversion
  • Optimization

Step 2: Map Journeys to Core Capabilities

The next step is to map these journeys to core capabilities that your team would need to deliver those experiences. Some examples of these capabilities include:

  • Content Management
  • Product Catalog & Merchandising
  • Media and Asset
  • Experience Management & Personalization
  • Search
  • Visualization
  • Promotion
  • Cart & Checkout
  • Payment
  • Analytics
  • Order Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Campaigns
  • A/B Testing and Optimization

Step 3: Establish a Governance Model or Reference Model

It is always recommended to set a guiding framework or benchmark for evaluating which composable platform, tools, technologies, frameworks, and languages you would use in your composable solution stack. During this stage, questions related to cloud services, pricing strategy, utilization models, backend connectivity, head hosting, frontend frameworks, digital experience composition, and more should be addressed.

Step 4: Select Platform and Tools

Once you have established a reference model, you can proceed with the selection of core platforms and tools necessary to deliver the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase. This could entail:

  • Core Content or Commerce
  • Authentication and Authorization
  • Experience Delivery Layer (frontend and head hosting)
  • Experience Composition Layer (where your marketing composes the experiences)
  • Additional components as required

XCentium provides recipes - valuable recommendations to streamline and kickstart the process of selecting platforms and tools based on various use cases.

Step 5: Implement Organizational Change Management

Most digital and IT organizations have not previously dealt with composable. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that your team comprehends why you are transitioning to composable and you provide them with training in composable principles and techniques. With monolithic systems, many responsibilities were delegated to platform vendors, but now these responsibilities shifted to internal teams or your system integration partner.

Step 6: Implement the MVP and Embrace an Iterative Approach

Some of the big promises of composable are: build incrementally, pick and choose, and swap as needed. Make sure these promises are baked in and realized into your own implementation plan. It’s best to start small, test, revise, and iterate through this model. If this approach appears unfeasible, it may indicate that the overall strategy needs to be reassessed.

The promise of composable is immense, but realizing its benefits requires meticulous planning, preparation, and an iterative rollout strategy, coupled with comprehensive change management and training for your internal teams.

Additional Resources

Composable Recipe for Finserv

Composable Recipe for Healthcare

Composable Recipe for RCG