According to Gartner, 60% of companies will seek composability in their tech investments to gain speed and agility by 2023. Are you one of those wanting to learn how you can leapfrog into a composable state? 

Through this article, you can learn 3 different ways to go Composable suitable for different organizations and their needs 

This article is a transcription from the webinar “3 ways to transition into a Composable state that was hosted by Occtoo, CTO, Jimmy Ekbäck on the 25th of February 2023. You can watch the webinar or read the summary below! 

Firstly, what is Composable? 

The term “Composable” has quickly gained popularity and has become quite a buzzword these days, with the connotation of the term changing in relation to who (role/position) or where (organization) it is used. However, my focus here is looking at where Composable originated from and the reason it's here. 

The term Composable was coined by Gartner and if you’re specifically looking to understand what “Composable Architecture” is, then this here is a great read for you – Your quick guide to understanding Composable Architecture! 

The definition for “Composable” can be categorized in three components: 

1. Composable thinking:Design principles that guide an organization’s approach to conceptualizing what to compose and when. This block prevents you from losing your creativity.

 2. Composable business architecture: Dynamic structural capabilities that help your organization so it can be flexible and resilient.

3. Composable technologies: A composable technology stack is a collection of different technologies that can be combined and configured to meet specific business needs. This approach allows organizations to pick and choose the technologies that best suit their needs, rather than being forced to use a one-size-fits-all solution. 

These components are what makes a composable enterprise. Recently, Gartner also coined a new term “Digital Experience Composition (DXC)”, which is an emerging technology used to orchestrate multiple digital experiences in a headless, decoupled, composable tech stack.

Recommended reading: Digital Experience Composition is the answer to your Composable Architecture Chaos. 

These tools provide API connectivity to headless services and allow developers to create digital experiences and hand the day-to-day management in no-code environments back to digital teams and business users. The term was coined by Gartner in 2022, but the technology has been available under other product names for approximately four years. Promoted most prominently by Occtoo in the form of an Experience Data Platform. 

But if you are just getting started with Composable and would like to familiarize yourself with it first, you might find this video/article useful Getting started with Composable.

The reason why Composable tech stacks are becoming increasingly popular today is that organizations can gain that much-needed flexibility and agility to continuously evolve with the changing digital landscape quickly, by transitioning to the composable state. Although, there are certainly some challenges that one can face while treading down this path, but these can be avoided through careful planning and diligent implementation.   

In this article, we are exploring three different approaches to transition into a composable state. 

Approach 1: The Big Bang 

Let’s call the first approach to transitioning into a composable state the Big Bang approach. This approach involves changing the entire digital/tech stack of an organization at once. Even though the result of using this approach can be fairly quick, one needs to be cautious as it is also high-risk and can be disruptive to the organization's business operations as you have to be able to run and sustain your business while changing your entire stack. For smaller organizations that are looking at replatforming, this approach can still yield results and prove to be a good way to transition into the composable state. As for bigger organizations, it is far too tedious to rip and replace everything at once while keeping the business continuity and hence the risk quotient can be far too high.  

So the ‘Big Bang’ approach is typically used by small organizations that are starting from scratch and have the time and resources to invest in this approach, although it is not the most recommended way to transition into the composable state as mitigating the risks can be far too challenging.

How is an Experience Data Platform useful with this approach? When using this approach it will be beneficial to use an Experience Data Platform to tie data from all systems and APIs together to “run” your digital experiences from one place. 

Approach 2: System-by-System 

The system-by-system approach is the second way to transition into the composable state. As the name gives it away, this approach will require evaluating each system within the organization to understand how it fits into the new composable state. Less risky as compared to the first approach, it can also be a good and efficient way to transition if the right systems are selected for the transition. Although, this approach can also prove to be challenging and become more of a daunting task to gauge the impact the new system has on the tech stack. It can also be unpredictable in the way that the new system could be an accelerator or a catalyst for change or it could just expose more problems. Hence, it is harden to validate how a system will actually fit into the tech stack without really testing and trying it for some time.  

The system-by-system approach, even though it is less risk than the Big-bang approach, it can in reality take longer than anticipated as it requires the organization to continue running its business operations while making the necessary changes to the digital stack, resulting in a high-pressure environment for the digital/tech teams. This approach works best for medium sized companies where you have bandwidth to drive transition projects over a longer time period in parallel with running your core business.

How is an Experience Data Platform useful with this approach? When using this approach it is recommended to utilize an Experience Data Platform that can power your digital experiences without interruption while you do this transition. This way you secure to not interrupt your revenue stream at all when swapping any system.

Approach 3: Composable Elements 

Another way to transition and possibly the best way to go into a composable state is taking the composable elements approach. While taking this approach, the organization will break down its digital initiatives into smaller parts and work with new technologies through proof of concept (POC) testing. Call it trial and error, this approach allows organizations to try their hand at different composable elements, understand the pros and cons, evaluate how well it fits into the bigger picture of the tech stack and then decide whether it is a hit or a miss.  

This approach is typically used by larger organizations that have a lot of legacy technology within their digital stack and cannot rip and replace everything at once. It is also more suitable for organizations that are innovation-driven and aren’t shy at trying their hand at new technologies and do not mind course-correction in their composable journey. Having different composable elements and moreover having the ability to change them as needed, gives the benefit of leveraging technology for business growth rather than being handcuffed by it, resulting in business constraints.  

This approach is less risky than the other two approaches and can provide valuable insights that can be scaled across the organization. Usually driven by business needs, the ‘Composable Elements’ approach can result in changes to the digital experiences launched by the organization, such as easily launching front-end microsites while accelerating content building widgets within big e-commerce sites. This approach is a great way to transition for global corporations with massive legacy technology deeply incorporated in business processes that will be hard to swap quickly.

How is an Experience Data Platform useful with this approach? Organizations should make use of an Experience Data Platform to fuel digital experiences with microsites and content containers/widgets that have composable characters to be able to quickly deploy new experiences and feature/functions in their existing digital experiences.

In Conclusion: 

The transition into a composable state is a mandatory step for organizations that are looking to stay ahead of the curve in today's swiftly changing digital landscape. While each of the three approaches outlined above has its own benefits and challenges, it is significant for organizations to carefully evaluate their specific situation and choose the approach that best fits their needs. By taking the time to thoroughly plan and execute this transition properly, organizations can avoid obstacles, risks and be better prepared to position themselves for success in the future. 

Learn more: How Occtoo connects data in your Composable stack

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Reach out to me to discuss Composable success. Email me at or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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