Composable Architecture: Understanding the Ecosystem
With the substantial growth of the companies, they prefer using many applications for managing different operational aspects of their business. But this scope of utilizing the applications is triggering data silos. Thus, different departments within the company are failing to share information among themselves seamlessly.
Hence, this is where composable architecture is implemented as a vital solution to the major problem. It allows the companies to build a centralized system, which makes the data accessible through various tools. There will be no interruptions or halts in processing the workflows.
As a result, operational efficiency, development speed, and cost-saving potential increase. Following that, the user experience also gets enhanced. In short, composable architecture has the potential to help you build proficient solutions at a faster rate.
Do you want to know how? Read along with this article till the end to find out!
Understanding the Composable Architecture
The design and development of software solutions is now an easy and flexible process using a composable architecture. As per cloud-based systems, a composable architecture is used for creating complex applications quickly by using several smaller services. In this approach, you won’t have to build the solutions from the ground up.
In short, composable architecture is the idea of breaking down large applications into smaller components for reusability and combination use to derive new functionalities. The best thing about composable architecture is its customization and adaptability potential. In this approach, the tools aren’t forcing the users to adapt the workflows per their design. Instead, the tools are becoming adaptable within the workflows.
Hence, using composable architecture in business is like building an ecosystem of specific elements. These elements tend to work in collaboration to create a perfect software solution that can scale with the enterprise’s workloads. For businesses, composable architecture is more like an investment that will help them scale and be flexible with the business applications they use.
For instance, businesses want to use just one CMS application for internal knowledge management and web content marketing.
So, it is ideal to use autonomous and modular components for assembling them into a complete system. Some of those components include headless applications, PBCs (packaged business components), and microservices. With such a modular take on enterprise software needs, developers can reuse more components and codes. As a result, scaling, maintaining, and improving the systems becomes easier in the long run.
Characteristics of Running Your Business Upon a Composable Architecture
If you support the use of composable architecture, you are not diluting your digital business by any means. Adapting to it is like building your business to cope with the potential of real-time resilience and adaptability to deal with any possible uncertainties.
Some of the standard characteristics of a composable business architecture are:
- Every component within the architecture is independent and self-contained. They are ideal for performing specific functions and are reusable for multiple configurations without using other components.
- The components are quite easy to combine and recombine for building various configurations. Hence, it allows organizations to improve their software solutions per the upgrading needs or requirements.
- All of the interfaces within the components are defined clearly, which allows them to exchange data and communicate with one another.
- Each of the components can undergo development and tests separately. Hence, it increases the overall speed of software development.
The MACH Approach
In the adaptation of the new composable business architecture state, the tech stack is now being built over cloud capabilities and services. The new composable architecture tends to combine your available data with the use of APIs. Following that, the front-end developers get empowered to build the apps using interchangeable blocks.
Hence, this new state of architecture is well understood by the MACH approach, which focuses on APIs and scalability. The MACH approach stands for:
- M- Microservices
The microservices are considered independent services that deliver specific features or functions through dedicated APIs. A PBC (packaged business component) comprises two or more microservices accessible through a single API. The individual PBCs and microservices can be considered as a single module. Take an example of a shopping cart and its checkout feature as a bundle.
In short, microservices are individual business functionality elements that undergo development, deployment, and management processes independently.
- A- API First
The purpose of APIs is to bind multiple services or apps together. Hence, this integration builds communication that is initiated from the approach to development. Hence, the software’s functionality or the bundled actions are expressed through the APIs.
- C- Cloud-Native
With the composable architecture, the services or applications are built, especially in the cloud, to ensure agility and scalability. Automatic updating and elastic scaling are cloud-native properties associated with the composable business architecture.
- H- Headless
In the composable business architecture, the front and back ends of an application are decoupled. Moreover, they are connected through APIs, which allows them to be more flexible. Thus, they have more options for technologies and languages for each application. Thus, it is quite easy for the software solutions to expand whenever the need arises.
How to Achieve Composable Architecture
There are four dedicated stages that you can adapt to achieve a composable business architecture for your business. The steps are:
- Get Insight into the Ecosystem
The first step you would need to take to adapt a composable architecture is to understand and get a detailed insight into this ecosystem. The enterprise architects are responsible for taking on this job.
Hence, to learn about the ecosystem, they must first make an inventory of all capabilities, procedures, and technologies developed within the lifecycle of the business. You can use the process inventories, app inventories, customer journey feedback, and capability maps to determine the necessary understanding.
With such a list, you can gather a potential understanding of all the current operations within the firm as well as the needs of clients. Moreover, you will also understand the maturity levels of all the solution elements, along with their composability level.
- Determine the Need for Adapting Composable Architecture
You need to run specific assessments to determine the necessity of composable architecture within your organizational practices. With this step in check, you will be able to identify the scope and possibilities of this implementation. The focus of this step will be understanding in what ways your business needs composability.
You should determine the areas of your business that need speeding up and experience faster time-to-market. Use the inventories you created in the first stage, such as processes, capabilities, customer journeys, etc. Now, begin with your assessment to determine the areas needing priority for added business efficiency and faster turnaround time.
The enterprise architects, working with business and solution analysts, will take up this job. At this stage, the experts will be able to point out all of the limiting factors within your business processes. All of the stability challenges will be identified, and the business can now overcome them.
- Getting Along with the ‘Architect’ Part
As per the client’s demands, the composability needs are considered the highest. The third stage is about making decisions about where to direct your focus. The demands in the market will be responsible for guiding the decisions. Business architects will play a major role in understanding how the strategy can become a reality.
They will be using the map of business capability and finding its correlation with business and IT functions. It is the crucial component of this entire stage! The IT architects will be using the map of business capability for collecting autonomous components for providing unique business value.
Every component can work with varying expertise, making them configurable for several use cases. There won’t be a need for full-scale redevelopment, as the slightest changes will be sufficient. The architects will also apply key guiding principles, such as orchestration, discovery, and modularity. Hence, this will ensure that the composable architecture becomes achievable.
- Building the Composable Architecture (and Repeat)
In the final stage, you will put all the other pieces together. It is quite important for you to remember that the APIs should connect the threads that will hold the components together. The idea of this final stage is to integrate business with dedicated solutions that are based on reusable parts and can be repeated in different contexts. All of this will be done at a speed that will enhance the overall value of the business.
There will be a consistent demand for strong leadership to help the business stick to composable architecture and minimize organizational friction. Over time, there will be a need for the co-development of supporting designs to follow the foundational composable strategy.
So, you got a clear understanding of the key components and features of the composable architecture, which possibly helped you understand the ecosystem it creates. Modern-day businesses are creating, structuring, and distributing a large amount of content or data across various channels. A composeable architecture helps streamline the use of that data across all parts of the organization.
To learn more about composable architecture or to implement it in your enterprise operations, get in touch with STL Digital or avail yourself of its services.
The components of the composable architecture are:
● Infrastructure-as-an-Application- Upon the development of the composable architectures, each application is treated as its component. Such an approach allows the app to be controlled through code and APIs. Following that, it gets along with the real-time demands of the company.
● Infrastructure Automation- Workloads are shifting from private data centers to public clouds. Therefore, you will require skilled practitioners with automation-first mindsets to build infrastructure stacks.
● Multi-cloud Strategy- The workloads are divided using a multi-cloud approach, which will make the composable cloud experience arbitrage on features and pricing. It opens up the scope for future reconfigurations.
The modular system architecture comprises various sub-components with well-defined functions and interfaces for independent consumption. On the other hand, composable architecture is defined as the degree to which the subcomponents are properly combined to build complex systems. So, you can conclude that the principles of modularity and composability are interlinked with one another.
Two key building blocks of the composable business architecture will help deliver optimal results upon proper utilization. The building blocks are microservices and APIs. The APIs are sets of routines, tools, and protocols for building necessary software applications. Microservices are considered small, independent functionality units that can undergo development, deployment, and maintenance via independent approaches.
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