As business needs change, organizations must be able to deliver innovation quickly and adapt applications dynamically — reassembling capabilities from inside and outside the enterprise. To do this, organizations must understand and implement the “composable enterprise.
“Composable business is a natural acceleration of the digital business that you live every day. It allows us to deliver the resilience and agility that these interesting times demand,” said Daryl Plummer, distinguished VP analyst, during the opening keynote at virtual Gartner Symposium IT/Xpo.
He stressed the intentional use of ‘composability’ in a business context. “Architecting your business for real-time adaptability and resilience in the face of uncertainty,” he added.
Drivers influencing agile and scalable development
Stuart Fisher: Business demands in Asia are evolving rapidly, as we're all aware. Companies need to be able to address their markets in multiple geographies in an agile manner with scalability at the core, in all aspects of development.
It's very much about taking an existing organisation and making sure it's agile, scalable, and cost-effective as it continues to develop and grow in the chosen market segments.
Challenges adopting composable in application development
Stuart Fisher: The way we do business has changed rapidly in the last few years. The requirement to engage with the customers in-market has evolved to the point where it needs to be done remotely and instantly. Businesses need to be online, and they need to collect data and transact with it.
Successful organisations have recognised the ability to reach out to their clients, consumers, and process data, as well as respond in kind, stems from a high level of scalability in the infrastructure in which they're deploying.
How agile development leads to success
Stuart Fisher: An organisation's data is key. That's been true for many decades but today, access to transactional data is necessary. The ability to collect data, engage with clients and transact that data, is now the difference between success or failure.
Customer 360 is a great example of this. The ability to outreach and engage with customers and answer their queries or transact a service or a product with them had to happen instantaneously. Customers won't wait. They won't wait for you to respond in a week or two weeks.
It must be done instantly. Otherwise, there's another competitor who will do it. So, innovation and rapid deployment is critical.
Best practice in composable application development
Stuart Fisher: It would revolve around the company strategy; the ability to collect the inputs from all the key stakeholders in the organisation and align that to a key objective are critical.
Without that, you're setting yourself up for failure. Once a clear strategy is established, we need to have a differentiator between the strategic outcome we're trying to achieve and the implementation thereof.
We need to look at not just the investments required, but the strategic areas around data, sovereignty, security, online availability, infrastructure cost and scalability.
These are all key things that need to be measured. In summary, a clear objective that is aligned across the company with all key stakeholders, underpinned by a robust implementation plan would demonstrate best practices.
Challenges rolling out composable applications
Stuart Fisher: There are a lot of challenges around the route to market, demand for convenient and user-friendly applications and how they're created. In today's age, things can be created and designed very quickly but, there's a significant challenge for infrastructure.
Access to computing, storage, and applications as well as access to human power such as developers and skill sets is a major challenge. Organisations really need to consider these challenges as they move forward on implementing their strategies.
How they're going to get access to the infrastructure, the skills set for the development, the design, and then obviously the deployment and scalability, and management of it moving forward, will be the key to successful enterprises.
Value of open-source in application development
Stuart Fisher: Historically, setting up a new initiative, strategy, programme or application would require a significant amount of licences and investment in IP.
There is a big upfront cost associated with that type of project even before deploying the capability. Leveraging open-source, developers can begin to develop and use it without any outlay costs.
Once they evolve and mature the design and build of their application, they can then move that from an open-source community into a more scalable, structured enterprise licence agreement.
This brings added benefits an organisation would require when they're starting to engage with their customers around support, licencing, governance, data protection and security.